Job Information

Sandia National Laboratories Autonomous Aerospace Systems Software Developer (Early/Mid-Career) in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Posting Duration:

This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.

Salary Range:

$86,300 - $166,800

*Salary range is estimated, and actual salary will be determined after consideration of the selected candidate's experience and qualifications, and application of any approved geographic salary differential.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

The rapid growth and proliferation of data science technology provides exciting and impactful opportunities for using these tools to solve national security problems. The Autonomy for Hypersonics department is applying AI/ML and broader information theory concepts to several components of the national defense domain for hypersonic and missile defense flight systems.

Our organization is actively seeking an entry level Autonomous Aerospace Systems Software Developer who has [1] significant interest and knowledge in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), [2] experience/familiarity in sensing/perception and/or dynamical systems, such as flight vehicle mechanics, and [3] formal training in either Computer Science or an engineering field, such as Aerospace, Electrical, Computer, or Mechanical Engineering with relevant software development experience.

If you are passionate about making valuable contributions to a high-impact program, we urge you to apply! You will collaborate with a team of researchers, engineers, and technologists to develop autonomous flight system technologies and to mature them from concept to simulation to flight. In the near-term, you will be supporting projects in our Advanced Concepts portfolio to include low-TRL demonstrators and projects in the Autonomy for Hypersonics (A4H) Mission Campaign. These projects are applying state-of-the-art data science to sensing, mission planning, and analysis for hypersonic vehicle missions. Long-term, you will be developing autonomous flight solutions for launch vehicle demonstrations (i.e., flight tests), developing agent-driven simulation and analysis tools for challenging mission scenarios, and creating/executing/leading new projects for applying trusted algorithms to high-consequence missions. You will be working on highly collaborative teams but will be given responsibility and ownership of a growing body of R&D work as you progress in your career at the Labs.

This position will include simulation, laboratory, and field-testing operations. You will work at Sandia's laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, including the Flight Dynamics Laboratory and a newly constructed indoor Robotarium for prototyping autonomous system hardware, algorithms, and communications. Components of your work will be classified and will consequently require a DOE Q security clearance.

Candidates applying on this requisition may be interviewed and/or hired into one of several organizations at Sandia National Laboratories.

Some travel is required for this position.

Qualifications We Require:

  • A Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a closely related field, plus relevant software development experience

  • Or, an Advanced degree (Master's or PhD) in Computer Science, Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field, plus relevant software development experience

  • Coursework and/or experience with modern Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning concepts; examples include, but are not limited to, state-of-the-art neural network architectures, classification, reinforcement learning, deep learning, and explainability

  • Coursework and experience programming in tools/languages such as Python, C/C++, Matlab, CUDA, or similar

  • Experience with object-oriented programming principles

  • Experience with the use and application of common computer operating systems

  • The ability to occasionally travel for business and research purposes

  • The ability to acquire and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance

Qualifications We Desire:

Ideally, your background would also include some of the following:

  • The ability to work collaboratively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in a cooperative and productive fashion

  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication as well as technical content presentation skills

  • A demonstrated ability to conduct guided research and development in a mostly self-directed manner

  • Experience using modern computational methods and platforms, including high-performance computing clusters, Graphical Processing Units (GPUs), and/or neuromorphic computers

  • Coursework and/or application experience with statistics and/or data science

  • Coursework and/or application experience with aerospace flight system modeling and simulation

  • Coursework and/or application experience with autonomous system path planning, localization, guidance, and/or control, especially for flight systems

  • Experience in embedded software development at the application layer

  • Experience developing for real-time operating systems

  • Applications experience with real-time embedded software engineering at the hardware level, including I/O driver software, interrupt service routines, and networking protocols

  • Familiarity with the Greenhills INTEGRITY® Real-time Operating System

  • Lab experience with use of common digital debugging tools (e.g. oscilloscopes, logic probes, and logic analyzers)

  • Experience with software unit, integration, and functional testing

  • Experience in the application of software engineering standards

  • An active DOE Q-level security clearance; or other equivalent active security clearance such as DOD Top Secret

  • The ability to acquire and maintain an SCI-level clearance, which may require a polygraph test; or an active SCI-level clearance

About Our Team:

Department 05449, Autonomy for Hypersonics, manages the Autonomy for Hypersonics Mission Campaign (A4H), an innovative research portfolio in autonomous systems development and flight demonstrations of technology advancements. This department also supports the research and development of software, autonomy algorithms, prototype hardware, target recognition, and navigation/guidance/control. We actively partner with domain experts, both at the Labs and throughout the nation, to implement high-impact research to meet national defense needs.

A4H is pursuing research and development in autonomous systems to enhance the capabilities of the nation’s hypersonic vehicles as well as other high-consequence systems. A4H enables increasingly agile hypersonic weapons that adapt to unexpected scenarios, empowering the U.S. to respond to threats anywhere in the world without putting our war fighters at unnecessary risk. The challenging flight environment and limited available flight data make hypersonics one of the most complex applications for autonomy. Sandia and its partners are developing algorithms, sensors, and compact computing hardware that compress complex data processing and analysis methods into real-time decisioning tools. The goal of A4H is unprecedented flexibility in response to newly designated targets, evolving target conditions, difficult operating environments, and unexpected flight conditions. This flexibility would enable autonomous mission planning and vehicles that intelligently home-in on targets for rapid response to time-sensitive threats.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide

  • Extraordinary co-workers

  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world

  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities

  • Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)

  • Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:*These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance:

Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment need to be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Job ID: 685952