Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Engineer

| San Francisco
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About Zipline

Do you want to change the world? Zipline uses drones to deliver critical and lifesaving medicine to thousands of hospitals serving millions of people in multiple countries. Our mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. Join Zipline and help us make this a reality for billions of people.

About You and The Role

At Zipline, we thrive on finding elegant solutions to complex problems, given what exists today and what we can develop to maturity quickly and confidently. We stay close to our customers, learn what really works, and find where we can put the leverage to make a big difference for them now. In Guidance, Navigation, Controls, and Dynamics, this means we have to learn to fly differently and build novel solutions in house to enable the kind of quality and responsiveness we need. We’ve flown our small aircraft through every storm in Rwanda and Ghana for years, and learning to survive and deliver through such difficult circumstances, while keeping the team size small and efficient, is what excites us.

The GNC&D team at Zipline is looking to increase its expertise in a variety of different areas. Your role will be focused on improving the capabilities of our current system along with contributing to development of future GNC systems. We want to expand our GNC&D capabilities to ensure we can continue to meet our customer needs all around the world.

What You'll Do
  • Develop innovative solutions to improve the operational performance of our current guidance, navigation, and control system.
  • Test your solutions in an operations-focused flight test environment, providing a rapid design iteration cycle for development and fast deployment to meet customer needs
  • Create prototype guidance, navigation, and control algorithms for novel aircraft configurations
  • Work with a multidisciplinary team to evaluate, select, and integrate GNC hardware (i.e. sensors, actuators, and processors) to meet performance requirements.
  • Design onboard integrity checks to communicate when the system performance is degraded
  • Model aircraft sensors and dynamics to support simulation development and engineering trade studies, using first principles and test flight data
  • Analyze flight data to investigate potential regressions and find room for improvements
  • Present results to your teammates and generate buy-in for your work
  • Create tools and tests to demonstrate the performance of your designs using both theoretical guarantees and Monte Carlo simulations
  • Collaborate with the rest of the GNC&D group and Flight Software, to provide technical feedback and review your teammate’s work

What You'll Bring

  • General guidance, navigation, and control experience (3+ years) and the ability to dive into and understand our GNC systems
  • Deep expertise in one or more of the following areas: precision integrated inertial navigation, dynamic modeling of complex systems, advanced linear control analysis, or optimal control with uncertainty
  • Excellent applied mathematical fundamentals in linear algebra, statics, probability, and Bayesian estimation
  • Software engineering skills, preferably working with both embedded software (C, C++) and technical computing languages/packages (MATLAB, NumPy, Julia, etc.)
  • Experience developing embedded control systems, estimators, or simulations from scratch and experience testing these systems on real-world hardware
  • A balanced approach to theoretical, simulation, and hardware/flight test analysis in order to demonstrate your designs
  • A track record of shipping products that meet diverse stakeholder needs
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with changing external conditions (regulations, business necessities)
  • A self-motivated attitude, with the ability to manage your own responsibilities in an unstructured work environment
  • Excellent technical communication skills to collaborate with other teams and stakeholders and to give quality feedback for continual product and processes improvement

What Else You Need To Know

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion or religious creed, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship, or other characteristics protected by state, federal or local law or our other policies.

We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
    • C++Languages
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • SqlLanguages
    • SwiftLanguages
    • ReactLibraries
    • Twitter BootstrapLibraries
    • DjangoFrameworks
    • FlaskFrameworks
    • PostgreSQLDatabases
    • RedisDatabases

Location

South San Francisco, CA 94080

What are Zipline Perks + Benefits

Culture
Volunteer in local community
We pretty regularly participate in and host school and community events for STEM and technology. Our teams in Rwanda participate in Umuganda (community volunteering) every month.
Partners with Nonprofits
We work with groups like Black Girls Code, Drone Legends, and Women & Drones to inspire young kids and get their wheels turning about robots from a young age.
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
We're a pretty quirky bunch, and it's not rare to find our team doing things like having a mechanical boat race on the bay, DJing at our holidays parties, & going to comedy events together.
Daily sync
Open door policy
Team owned deliverables
Team based strategic planning
Group brainstorming sessions
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Documented equal pay policy
Mean gender pay gap below 10%
Diversity Employee Resource Groups
Hiring Practices that Promote Diversity
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability Insurance
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Wellness Programs
Team workouts
Mental Health Benefits
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
Company Equity
Zipline has a compensation philosophy centered around both cash & equity.
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous Parental Leave
Flexible Work Schedule
Remote Work Program
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Casual Dress
Company Outings
Free Daily Meals
Stocked Kitchen
Some Meals Provided
Happy Hours
Parking
Pet Friendly
Relocation Assistance
Fitness Subsidies
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Lunch and learns
Cross functional training encouraged
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Time allotted for learning
Online course subscriptions available
Customized development tracks
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