Virgin Orbit, LLC

Senior Test Engineer, Avionics

Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
Req No.
Regular FT


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


Who we are




At Virgin Orbit, we are launching the small satellite revolution, enabling missions that were previously unimaginable. We are delivering Virgin’s legendary customer experience by combining advanced technology with a diligent, hard-working team. We have built a workplace and a workforce of the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today are launching the industries of tomorrow. We have engaged a diverse and inclusive community of doers and dreamers alike, empowering all those working today to build satellites and constellations that will change the world.


At Virgin Orbit, we are opening space for good. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.


Position Summary


Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as an Senior Test Engineer, Avionics. If you join us in this position, you will own the qualification and acceptance verification on avionics components for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills.


This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Conduct Engineering and Formal Qualification Testing, including the monitoring of the performance of avionics components during testing for anomalies, aggregation of acquired data and reports, and presentation of findings to Responsible Test Engineer and other team members
  • Lead the design and verification efforts of test systems (complete rack, fixturing, cable harnesses, pneumatic) for qualification and acceptance testing of one, or more, components of L1 or B747
  • Execute professional and traceable documentation, including electrical and mechanic designs, and acceptance verification plan(s) for the verification of the components you are responsible for
  • Adhere to the engineering processes and good practices of VO
  • Work within the software infrastructure for automated production test and simulated mission testing
  • Develop and maintain test software for unit level verification
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Performs other duties as assigned

What you bring

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

  • BS in Electrical, Computer, Aerospace or comparable Engineering in a related field
  • Proven Test Engineering skills:
    • 6+ years of hardware test development for production and/or validation of PCBAs using custom electronics and fixturing
    • Experience authoring test plans in collaboration with design engineers
    • Ability to read schematics and troubleshoot PCBAs
    • Ability to work in a clean room facility and follow good safety and ESD practices
    • A passion for developing, diagnosing and fixing HW/SW embedded system integration issues
    • Experience working with communication protocols and sensors in embedded systems
    • Experience providing test data analysis for equipment validation and monitoring test processes for production
  • Proven Project Execution skills:
    • Experience adhering to product workflows, demonstrated control over production manufacturing or testing
    • Experience working within a team of engineers to deliver testing in a fluid environment, ensuring your team executes with a high level of openness and to strict deadlines
    • Experience working across engineering groups to drive and develop project requirements and technical specifications, based on user needs
    • Identify key unknowns and quickly close knowledge gaps
    • Deliver the highest value results quickly and iterate towards successive milestones
    • Maintain a high level of customer service for your end-users and colleagues
    • Demonstrated excellent in team motivation and management to achieve schedule goals
  • Technology skills:
    • Demonstrable deep knowledge of recent versions of SMC-S-016 and/or DO-160 standards
    • Working knowledge of instrumentation, interfaces and sensors including DMMs, DAQ, Power Supplies, Oscilloscopes, and other lab equipment
    • Hands-on hardware integration experience including installation of electronic components and harness, and troubleshooting components, harnesses and sensors (including acceleration, pressure, acoustic, strain, position and thermal sensors)
    • Experience working with communication protocols including RS-232, RS-422, Fast and Gigabit Ethernet, PCIe, I2C, SPI, CAN bus
    • Experience working with motor driver and linear and switching power regulators
    • Experience working with industrial sensors including RTDs, thermocouples, and 4-20mA transducers.
    • Demonstrated experience with project management tools in agile environments (e.g. jira, confluence)
  • 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 all shifts and 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)


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

  • trong documentation capabilities, including traceability principles
  • Proven knowledge of communication protocols and instrumentation hardware abstraction layers such as Ethernet, RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, UDP, & DAQmx
  • Understanding and experience in environmental testing such as vibration, shock, vacuum and thermal
  • Experience with a defect tracking database
  • Experience with distributed version control systems
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space


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. 


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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.