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Software Engineer I in Mountain View, CA at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 8/2/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) has a mission to advance space-related sciences and exploration through innovative research, technology, and education programs that involve universities, governments, and the private sector for the benefit of humanity.  USRA supports NASA’s mission to advance space exploration by achieving new scientific discoveries and technological developments to include software systems that collect, store, process and analyze large sets of data, such as those supporting human space exploration, aeronautics and earth and space science.  This task focuses on research and development of robotics hardware and software for Astrobee free-flyer mobile robot. 

Position Summary:

Responsible for improving GSP software for technology, demonstrate and document NASA’s Astrobee guest Scientist Program (GSP) software for technology demonstration use by both NSA and non NASA researchers. Analyze users’ needs, and design, construct, test, and maintain robotic applications software and hardware.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Perform fundamental research into robot hardware and software in support of the Intelligent Robotics Group
  • Improve GSP software technology, document and demonstrate use
  • Enhance robot control algorithms to support integration of new payloads
  • Support wide variety of enterprise customers through prototype development
  • Conduct thorough field testing of technologies in planetary analog environments
  • Improve physics-based robot simulation tools to reflect new control algorithms and new robot hardware
  • Attend technical seminars, identify and study relevant technical publications and conferences, prepare and present scientific papers at conferences and develop robotics

Other job related duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:


  • Bachelor of Science in STEM related field (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) or related discipline required (Master’s degree preferred)


  • 0 to 3 years of software development, and research experience
  • Proficiency with “Open Source” software, documentation of enhancements, bug fixes, etc.
  • Experience with multiple operating systems: Linux, Unix, Windows
  • Experience in software source control, inter-process, and hardware
  • Experience with Robot Operating System (ROS) and free-flyer related robotics simulation (is also a benefit)


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  

  • In-depth knowledge of fundamental robotics research and development.
  • Ability to establish effective collaboration and interactions with diverse levels of staff
  • Ability to communicate effectively in oral and written formats
  • Engage the academic community in research work through research collaborations, visits, invited guess, workshops, conferences, etc.


  • Proficient ability to engage the academic community in research work through research collaborations, visits, invited guess, workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Experience developing awareness of NASA’s mission needs and address them to the best of ability
  • Awareness of funding opportunities in area of expertise through internal and external funding agencies; seek and obtain funding to ensure continuation and growth of research efforts



  • Programming languages: C/C++, Java, Python, MATLAB, ROS, git/svn, source control
  • Systems: Linux, Unix, Windows

Working Conditions:

This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. This is largely a sedentary role.


Minimal travel.

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


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