Virgin Orbit, LLC

Instrumentation Engineer (Avionics)

Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
Req No.
Regular Full-Time


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


Who we are




At Virgin Orbit, we launch the small satellite revolution, accessing space for missions that were previously unimaginable and fostering new ideas and technologies to create a truly spacefaring civilization. We deliver Virgin’s legendary customer service by pairing technological advancements with a clear focus on our customers’ needs. We build a workplace and a workforce for the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today will launch the industries of tomorrow. We engage a diverse and inclusive community of dreamers and achievers in a shared mission to access space to improve life on Earth. At Virgin Orbit, we boost imagination. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.


Position Summary


Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking an Instrumentation Engineer to join our growing Avionics Engineering Team. This position will be responsible for the design, development, integration and verification of R&D and Production test equipment to verify Avionics for LauncherOne rockets and our airborne launch platform aircraft. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at Virgin Orbit's aerospace facility in Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Design, Build and Integrate Test Equipment, concentrating primarily on mechanical aspects of racks, custom box instruments and fixtures
  • Follow a controlled design and build process for non-rocket hardware and harness builds
  • Engage in technical design reviews and release process for mechanical designs
  • Execute integration and integrated testing plans and procedures that will meet production needs, adequately verify functionality and ensure operational needs
  • Support HITL testing, component qualification & acceptance verification, and instrumentation anomaly investigations
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members

What you bring

If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these…  

  • BS Degree in Engineering or equivalent work experience in a similar role
  • 2+ years of experience in electrical and mechanical design of racks and fixtures for test
  • Experience in automotive, aerospace, aircraft or civil dynamics, or instrumentation
  • Hands-on hardware integration experience including installation of instruments and fixtures, and troubleshooting components
  • Strong capability to work with hand tools typical to instrumentation in a factory environment including wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, soldering irons, wire strippers, and terminal crimps
  • Ability to create electrical system designs for instrumentation systems
  • Ability to read, understand, and interpret technical documentation such as wire diagrams, sensor data sheets, and data systems equipment manuals
  • Experience with Bill Of Materials generation
  • Demonstrated experience working with cross-functional teams
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be able to work 1st shift, and be available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)
  • Must be able to provide proof of US-approved Covid-19 full vaccination status, unless otherwise exempted by an approved reasonable medical or religious accommodation from Virgin Orbit.

 … and you should probably have a bunch of these, too

  • Experience with integrated hardware/software system test methodologies
  • Experience with Build Management, including workspace design, tool management, and inventory control
  • Experience with:
    • analog data acquisition (4-20mA, 0-5V, RTDs, thermocouples, strain gages, pressure transducers)
    • digital data acquisition (RS-232, Ethernet, ARINC 429, MIL-STD-1553)
    • designing or interfacing with aircraft and/or rocket avionics hardware
    • cDAQ and PXI data acquisition hardware platforms, configuration and troubleshooting of DAQ hardware using NI-MAX
    • network engineering principles (IP networks)
    • basic signal condition and circuit protection methods
    • sensor selection
    • electrical junction box design/build
    • troubleshooting techniques associated with a variety of sensor types, low voltage DC power systems, and data acquisition equipment
  • Familiarity with:
    • MATLAB, Python, LabVIEW, or other programming languages commonly used for data acquisition/control applications
    • low-pressure pneumatic instrumentation control (e.g. fixture actuation)
  • Experience working as a technician or assisting technicians with installations
  • Knowledge of EMI/EMC consideration on aircraft or aerospace systems
  • Experience with harness design/build for outdoor/harsh environments
  • Hands-on experience using the following equipment: digital multimeter, oscilloscope, adjustable power supply, MEGGER
  • Familiarity with NFPA hazardous location classification and installation requirements
  • Ability to periodically travel to test and launch site in Mojave
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space

 *The Employer retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.



ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.


Personal Requirements

Our idea of a happy life: build rockets, work with brilliant people, serve purposeful customers, and open access to space. Sir Richard Branson’s belief is “If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” From the very start, we have placed top priority on growing and fostering a team of creative, diverse, and talented women and men. In the words of Sir Richard Branson “We believe it’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!”

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Virgin Orbit is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Orbit is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.