Spacecraft Controller

Location: Goonhilly, Cornwall

Department: Delivery Operations SOC

About Us

Avanti Communications is the leading Ka-band high throughput satellite capacity partner to the communications industry in EMEA – extending and guaranteeing coverage for defence missions, enterprise solutions and critical public services. Through the HYLAS satellite fleet and partners in 118 countries, Avanti provides dedicated fixed and flexible-beam satellite connectivity, with extensive coverage across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Avanti has invested $1.2bn in a network that incorporates orbital slots in the Ka-band spectrum, satellites, ground stations, data centres and a fibre ring.

We are proud to be leading the way in connecting the unconnected as we continue with our journey of delivering on our unique point of view on the world to ‘Be More.’ We believe everyone has the potential to achieve their ambitions and we are determined to continue in creating opportunities to support this.

Come and join Avanti and be part of the team that will make the difference leveraging our satellite technology that improves access to education, medicine and helps create a safe environment to live and work. Surely everyone deserves this.

Role Purpose

The Spacecraft Controller plays a key role in supporting the safe operations of the Avanti fleet of geostationary communications satellites. As a member of the Spacecraft Control Team (SCT), the controller’s primary role involves the monitoring of satellite health and the execution of planned satellite operations.

The Spacecraft Controller will interact closely with our automated suite of Mission Control System software to carry out critical operations such as station keeping, sensor blinding, eclipse operations and payload configurations. They may perform non-routine operations, with engineering support if required, and will detect report and respond to contingencies. They will become expert in the operation of the spacecraft control software, the satellite subsystems, ground systems and the role of spacecraft operations in delivering a high-quality service to our customers.

The Spacecraft Controller is the first line contact with the spacecraft and can conduct troubleshooting and anomaly resolution of the satellites and ground systems. In addition to this, they are always supported by a 24-7 on-call team of Spacecraft Operations Engineers, with a well-defined escalation chain. As part of the wider Satellite Operations Centre (SOC) team, they will interact daily with experts in the fields of Spacecraft Operations, Flight Dynamics, Space Ground Control Systems and Space System Engineering.

In addition to their primary role, Spacecraft Controllers are also involved in Flight Operations Procedure (FOP) development, validation, simulations and spacecraft health reporting. Where shift patterns allow, controllers also have a portion of working time where they are not on shift and can focus on training, development and are provided with experience of other spacecraft operations roles.

Key Accountabilities & Responsibilities

  • Monitor and control of the Avanti fleet of satellites on a 24/7 shift rota
  • Carry out satellite commanding using approved methods.
  • Supervision of automated flight operations procedures.
  • Maintain operational activity logs.
  • Generate periodic reports on spacecraft health and status for distribution to the satellite engineering team.
  • Perform routine control system maintenance and backup tasks.
  • Provide first line response to satellite contingency and escalation to the satellite engineering team.
  • Provide support for operations preparation and development during occasional periods of day shifts.
  • Attend and support the anomaly review board process as required by the Spacecraft Control Services Manager and Spacecraft Operations Manager.
  • Assist Ground Control Systems team in the implementation of satellite control hardware and software.
  • Validate procedure and database updates using dynamic satellite simulators, and production of appropriate validation reports.
  • Participate in system verification tests and simulations campaigns in support of new satellite procurement.

Skills & Qualifications

Essential: –

  • Attention to detail and a methodical and considered approach.
  • Ability to follow processes and procedures.
  • A proven ability to work unsupervised for extended periods.
  • Well organised, able to prioritise and manage several activities in parallel.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Must have a valid visa to work in the UK.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.

Desirable: –

  • University degree (or equivalent experience) in a STEM discipline.
  • Ex-military personnel should have a background in satcom, radar or ground communication systems.
  • Experience in the preparation, validation and use of operational procedures.
  • Understanding of the principles of geostationary satellite operation.
  • Understanding of the principles of RF communication technology.
  • Knowledge of satellite subsystems.
  • Experience in field of satellite control or engineering, however full training will be provided.

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.


  • A Competitive Salary, pension scheme, and life assurance & private medical insurance
  • A generous and highly achievable bonus scheme – paid annually based on individual and company performance against targets
  • Along with 25 Days Annual Leave (excluding bank holidays) plus an Additional Day on us for your Birthday
  • Buy or sell up to 3 holiday days per annum
  • Free access to the Employee Assistance Programme
  • Plus, a variety of excellent Employee Funded Benefits available to you

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. 

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