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South Park Commons Fund

Infrared Instrument Engineering Lead

Muon Space

Muon Space

Mountain View, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, December 9, 2023

About the role

Muon seeks an Infrared Instrument Engineering Lead to join our team in Mountain View, CA to develop infrared remote sensing instruments. The ideal candidate is an experienced and organized engineer who has successfully led the technical development of projects from concept through to delivery and operation. This role will work throughout many layers of technical depth from component to system and collaborate across multiple disciplines and partner organizations. Previous experience working to develop and operate infrared electro-optical systems, space remote sensing instruments, or related technologies in fast-paced and small-team environments are preferred. This position will involve lab and hands-on work and will spend significant time at our office in Mountain View, CA.


  • Full lifecycle engineering for Muon’s infrared remote sensing instrument through design, build, test, and operation.
  • Collaborate across Muon disciplines (e.g. Science, Program, Systems, HW/SW) and external partners and vendors to successfully complete cross-functional efforts.
  • Execute technical trade studies and make/buy decisions ranging in scope from individual components to system level architecture.
  • Perform simulation and modeling efforts, as needed, and develop associated tools and infrastructure to improve the efficiency and pace of our development efforts.
  • Support instrument test campaigns, including characterization, performance, qualification, etc. and collaborate on test strategies and standards.
  • Drive technical risk management for the instrument including capturing, evaluating, and proposing mitigation approaches.
  • Maintain appropriate levels of balance between rapid iteration and prototyping and design for manufacturing at scale.
  • Collaborate with spacecraft AI&T and Operations teams during build, test, launch, and operation phases of missions as the instrument technical point-of-contact.
  • Support prototyping and demonstration activities by designing, developing, and integrating instrument components and subsystems.
  • Support an inclusive, collaborative, and team-oriented culture; lead by example.


  • B.S., M.S., or Ph.D. in a science, engineering, or math field; or equivalent experience.
  • 7+ years experience leading development and successful delivery of optical systems.
  • Experience with the development of infrared imaging systems.
  • Experience building and leading technical teams in small fast paced environments.
  • Broad technical understanding across mechanical, optical, thermal, dynamics, and the application of technical disciplines to optical/infrared designs.
  • Experience developing specifications and engaging with and managing vendors.
  • Strong software skills in one or more languages (e.g. Python, Matlab, C, C++).
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Excited to work in a fast-paced environment with new challenges each week.

Nice-to-have Skills

  • Experience with space remote sensing instrument development.
  • Experience working with precision electro-optical equipment and optical design tools (Zemax, etc.).
  • Experience working in cleanroom environments.
  • Experience supporting spacecraft payload integration, test, and launch campaigns.
  • Exposure to systems engineering, especially requirements development and V&V.
  • Experience with risk management and balancing risk with other constraints.
  • Experience with dynamic systems and precision control methods.
  • Exposure to design for space exploration industry, aviation, military, or other high-reliability operating environments.
  • Experience driving rapid root cause analysis and recovery in high pressure situations.
  • Experience with image processing and data product development.

About Muon Space

Muon Space is working at the forefront of satellites, advanced sensors, business intelligence, and climate science to allow humanity to close the loop on climate change. From satellite missions to modeling to data analytics and actionable insights, we believe measuring, understanding and predicting Earth’s complex, coupled systems is both a great business opportunity and key to leaving future generations a livable, productive and healthy planet.

Equal Opportunity

At Muon, our mission embraces the entire planet and we believe our team should too. Muon is dedicated to creating a diverse and dynamic company and workforce. We believe in equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, age, national origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or gender identity. We value diversity in the workplace, and that starts with our applicants. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't check all the boxes, and we look forward to reviewing your application! In addition, if you need a reasonable accommodation as part of your application for employment or interviews with us, please let us know.

At Muon Space salary is only part of our total compensation package. In addition to salary, Muon Space provides equity compensation as well as benefits including medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 401k retirement plan, life insurance, and an employee development program. We also offer three weeks paid vacation for new employees, along with 12 paid holidays and unlimited sick time, along with paid parental leave to name a few of our benefits.

The salary range for this role is 100K-190K and will depend on a candidate's skills, qualifications, and experience as defined during the interview process.

ITAR/EAR Requirements:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Export Administration Regulations (EAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S. protected person as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.