Pointing Controls Engineer

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Nov 30, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) encourages applications for a Pointing Controls Engineer to be responsible for modeling, analysis, and implementation of feedback motion controls for a NASA-funded instrument that will provide remote sensing of the Earth. The instrument will include two-axes of precision rotation that allow for multiple scan modes. This engineer will apply classical control systems theory to craft, analyze, implement, and test the gimbal controllers, and ultimately verify the pointing requirements.
The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

LASP began in 1948 (a decade before NASA) and combines all aspects of space exploration through our expertise in science, engineering, mission operations, and scientific data analysis. We are the world’s only academic research institute to have sent instruments to all eight planets and Pluto.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Develop, test, and integrate algorithms for position feedback control of a space-borne, two-axis gimbaled pointing system.
  • Perform simulation and analysis of a motion control system consisting of direct-drive BLDC motors utilizing MATLAB and Simulink/Simscape and ensure all systems requirements are satisfied.
  • Identify and conduct experiments and simulations to evaluate control performance and robustness.
  • Perform modeling of complex mechatronic systems including kinematics and dynamics of a BLDC gimbal.
  • Implement and test control algorithms in flight hardware.

What You Should Know

Due to ITAR restrictions, only US Citizens and Permanent Residents may be considered.

What We Can Offer

The salary range is $98,500 - $128,000, and is relocation eligible.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits , including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder .

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Be Proactive. Be Strategic. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Ph.D. in Engineering or Natural Science with coursework and research emphasis on motion control systems or autonomous systems/robotics.
    • In-lieu of a Ph.D., a M.S. degree with 2+ years or B.S. degree with 5+ years of hands-on experience conducting applied research and developing/implementing control of pointing, tracking, autonomous, or robotic systems operating in real-world environments is required.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of motion control theory: closed-loop servos, PID control, disturbance rejection, and parameter tuning methods.
  • Proven hands-on knowledge of motion control system actuators and sensors: direct-drive BLDC motors, optical encoders, resolvers, and amplifiers.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with a variety of control and autonomy approaches and algorithms applied to linear systems: frequency domain, time domain, and discrete-time control.

What You Will Need

  • Proven ability to mathematically model complex kinematics and dynamic systems.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of classical control theory and applying it to real-time systems.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with MATLAB and Simulink for control system design, modeling, simulation, and analysis.
  • Hands-on experience tuning control parameters and measuring the frequency response of a closed-loop system.
  • Hands-on approach to prototyping, system integration, and debugging.
  • Strong analytical, mathematical, and system modeling skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Demonstrated proficiency with Stateflow, Simscape and/or Simulink Real-Time.
  • Hands-on experience with National Instruments LabVIEW real-time control implementation.
  • Hands-on experience in HIL simulation systems such as Speedgoat and dSpace.
  • Industry experience in controls engineering, mechatronics, or software development.
  • Experience with real-time computing.
  • Hands-on real-world experience with embedded processors, FPGAs, motors, sensors, and gimbaled mechanisms.
  • Design and implementation of digital filters.
  • Experience with both floating and fixed-point designs.
  • Experience with designing and implementing multi-rate systems.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: Recruiting@colorado.edu

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