Ground Control Systems Engineer

Location: Goonhilly (Cornwall)

Department: Technology - SOC

Role Purpose

The Ground Control Systems Engineer plays a key role in the installation and maintenance of the ground control equipment used to support the safe operations of the Avanti fleet of geostationary communications satellites. As a member of the Ground Control Systems team, the engineer’s primary role involves the monitoring and administration of the real time Mission Control System and support functions.

The engineer will interact closely with the Spacecraft Control Team, Satellite Engineering Team, Flight Dynamics Team, Satellite Resource Management Team and Service NOC to carry out incident/problem and change management to maintain customer defined service level agreements. They may perform DevOps tasks to support new customer related services, as part of a virtual delivery team. They will become a subject matter expert in spacecraft control system software, the Linux operating system, IF signal processing, the OSI Model (Open Systems Interconnection Model) and telemetry, tracking and command satellite subsystems.

Key Accountabilities

Integration of the satellite control system for all future satellites (Avanti or managed services)

  • Participate in system validation testing;
  • Maintain system processes and procedures for access and use;
  • Install and configure satellite control software applications and utilities;
  • Provide technical support for the use of virtualisation and/or cloud computing services within the satellite operations network.

Maintenance and Upgrade of the satellite control system for existing and future satellites

  • Support future system expansion;
  • Develop software applications and patches to meet the fleet operation needs;
  • Use automation to carry out detailed system exception reports and participate into anomaly investigation and resolution meetings as required;
  • Install, configure, and validate (test) software and hardware upgrades and additions;
  • Utilise a system maintenance plan and performance of maintenance to ensure continuity of systems availability and optimise system resource utilisation;
  • Ensure best practice use of system and archive backup plan to ensure operational configurations can be restored in the event of any failure, and the performance of the necessary backup tasks;
  • Assist with the capture of requirements for hardware and software upgrades and additions to the control system;
  • Provide support for occasional critical activities as required.

System Administration

  • Manage user access privileges for the various aspects of the control system;
  • Update and propagation of operational databases in response to user requirements, including regression testing, validation and configuration control;
  • Use version configuration control for upgrades to system software and databases

Network and Security

  • Make sure that the satellite operations network is protected from malware and viruses, identify areas that might be under threat and areas where security can be improved;
  • Work with third-party providers to integrate TT&C antennas into the satellite operations network;
  • Providing technical support and assistance for the installation and maintenance of network devices (routers, firewalls and switches) within the satellite operations network;
  • Work with the Service NOC to establish and maintain access policies to the satellite operations network.

Skills & Qualifications


  • University degree (or equivalent experience) in a STEM discipline;
  • Ex-military personnel should have a DCCIS background, with experience in satcom, radar or ground communication systems;
  • Software development experience with scripting languages (e.g. Python, Perl), Web Frameworks (e.g. Django, Node.js);
  • Experience of working with structured data (e.g. XML, json);
  • Demonstrable experience with Linux/Unix operating systems;
  • Demonstrable experience with firewall access policies;
  • Software maintenance and modification to adapt and integrate existing software in complex systems;
  • Ability to work independently and effectively manage own workload;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Document and software configuration control management;
  • Good technical writing skills in English;
  • Must have a valid visa to work in the UK.


  • Demonstrable experience of SCOS 2000 (or similar) Mission Control System software;
  • Software development experience with programming languages (eg Java, C++);
  • Validation of operational systems against user defined requirements;
  • Management and optimisation of relational databases using SQL;
  • Experience of working with a geostationary satellite operations control system;
  • Knowledge of CCSDS and ECSS standards;
  • Knowledge of spacecraft operational database design and function;
  • Knowledge of requirements management software;
  • Experience of working with an ISO27001 accredited information security management system;
  • Experience of working with ITIL;
  • Knowledge of key-value stores and query languages other than SQL;
  • Automated systems validation/regression testing.

You MUST be able to obtain an SCI Clearance (on an active contract) to be considered for this position.

The role requires access to “Controlled Information” (i.e. information and other materials that are subject to compliance restrictions under US export control legislation), Avanti are required to ensure a thorough screening process before access to such information is granted.

In addition to the above responsibilities, the jobholder is required to perform other reasonable duties as assigned by the line manager from time to time.

To apply for this role please complete the form below