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Target Vehicle Systems Engineer
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland
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Date Posted 04/08/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Job Description 

Target Vehicle Systems Engineer-20718 


Position Description
 Do you love to apply your technical skills to solve challenges associated with aerospace vehicle systems? 
Are you excited to make impactful contributions in a creative and flexible environment? 
If so, we’re looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.  
We are seeking a Target Vehicle Systems Engineer to support the design, development, assessment, and execution of flight vehicles used for weapon systems testing. Our mission is to craft the future of target systems to meet sponsor needs in addressing the evolving threats to the nation's defense. As a member of our team, you will be applying a variety of analytical techniques to take on a diverse set of technical problems that will mature target vehicle capabilities from notional to operational.  
We have a real passion for solving critical aerospace challenges in Air and Missile Defense using systems engineering methods. On our team, your primary responsibility will be performing analyses and developing deliverable data products critical to the fielding of vehicle systems used during the execution of Air & Missile Defense flight tests. You will participate in the following specific analysis areas: 
  • You will conduct target vehicle concept development studies: trajectory trade study and scoping analysis, launch vehicle and payload flight performance assessment, and trajectory optimization.
  • You will develop preliminary and high fidelity simulation models of target trajectories: independent trajectory modeling and simulation using three and six degree of freedom tools, and vehicle configuration trade studies to guide contractor decisions.
  • You will evaluate the flight performance of target vehicles: vehicle requirements compliance assessment, weapons systems analysis support, and root cause analysis of flight performance characteristics.
  • You will perform mission execution analysis: real-time range safety evaluations, post-flight vehicle telemetry extraction, post-flight trajectory reconstruction.
  • You will maintain configuration control of trajectory sets and associated input models. You will also be responsible for distribution of data products to the end user community.


: You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you:
  • Possess a BS in Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering or a related technical field with a strong academic record.
  • Apply collaborative and innovative ways to solving problems.
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills with experience working in dynamic team environments.
  • Demonstrate strong proficiencies in dynamics of mechanical and/or aerospace systems and the modeling and simulation of dynamical systems.
  • Are proficient in MATLAB and/or other scripting languages.
  • Are willing and able to support travel to flight test ranges during test missions and to government and contractor sites across the United States for planning meetings and data reviews. Travel of approximately three to four weeks is typical.
  • Hold an active Secret clearance or have the ability to obtain one.
  • If selected, you may be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.  
You’ll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you: 
  • Have an MS or PhD in Aerospace, Mechanical or a related technical field with past work experience in Test and Evaluation.
  • Possess expertise in flight mechanics and trajectory design, optimization, and model development. 
  • Are highly skilled in trajectory modeling using software tools such as TAOS, POST, or OTIS.
  • Demonstrate proficiencies in analysis and implementation of the models used in trajectory simulation: aerodynamics, guidance, navigation, and control (GNC), propulsion and mass properties.
  • Possess experience with data analysis techniques including, but not limited to: optimal state estimation and filtering algorithms, statistical regression methods, root cause correlation analysis, genetic algorithms.
  • Have experience coding in C, C++, or Fortran.
  • Have experience using distributed processing software such as Sun Grid Engine or the MATLAB parallel processing toolbox. Additional skill with Linux systems is a plus.
  • Hold an active Top Secret clearance or have the ability to obtain one.

Why work at APL?


The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation's most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. With a wide selection of challenging, impactful work and a robust education assistance program, APL promotes a culture of life-long learning. Our employees enjoy generous benefits and healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at


APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


Primary Location

 *United States-*Maryland-*Laurel
*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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