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Optical Qualification Technician



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Welcome to Planet. We believe in using space to help life on Earth.

Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history. This constellation delivers an unprecedented dataset of empirical information via a revolutionary cloud-based platform to authoritative figures in commercial, environmental, and humanitarian sectors. We are both a space company and data company all rolled into one.

Customers and users across the globe use Planet's data to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research, and solve our world’s toughest obstacles.

As we control every component of hardware design, manufacturing, data processing, and software engineering, our office is a truly inspiring mix of experts from a variety of domains.

We have a people-centric approach toward culture and community and we strive to iterate in a way that puts our team members first and prepares our company for growth. Join Planet and be a part of our mission to change the way people see the world.

Planet is a global company with employees working remotely world wide and joining us from offices in San Francisco, Washington DC, Germany, and The Netherlands.

About the Role:

Here at Planet Labs, we launch spacecraft early and often. From Technology Demonstrations to operational constellations, we're designing, manufacturing and launching record-breaking numbers of spacecraft. As an Optical Payload Test Technician, you will support a variety of integration and environmental testing activities at component, subsystem and system level. You will be building, improving and following procedures to build both ground support equipment and flight hardware. This includes operating optical metrology equipment, vibration table, shock table, thermal air, and thermal vacuum chambers.

Impact You’ll Own:

  • Support the Assembly, Integration, and Test (AI&T) and development of Planet’s next-generation satellite constellation payloads
  • Plan, coordinate, and lead the execution of environmental test campaigns
  • Work closely with optical and mechanical engineers to support project development work
  • Development, requirement generation, and assembly of test fixtures
  • Environmental Lab maintenance
  • Design and test equipment and infrastructure for the transportation of payloads and spacecraft
  • Implement 5s methodology in the qualification lab and model shop
  • Design, assemble and test the tools & equipment required to support spacecraft launch integration
  • Support launch integration

What You Bring:

  • Experience with fixtures to mount precision optical components for alignment, focusing, metrology and optical test
  • Experience with optical assembly of lenses, mirrors, filters, sensors, or related system components
  • Familiarity with proper laboratory safety and manufacturing best practices in a cleanroom environment
  • Knowledge of Solidworks CAD or Zemax is a plus
  • Ability to do basic software development and/or lab automation (Python, microcontrollers, etc)
  • Able to juggle multiple tasks and make quality decisions
  • Work well with cross-functional teams to achieve desired results
  • Resolves routine issues and escalates other issues to the appropriate individual in a timely manner
  • Superior organization skills, attention to detail, and passion for quality
  • Demonstrated hands-on experience
  • Job may require traveling within and outside the US

What Makes You Stand Out:

  • Experience with interferometers, wavefront sensors, monochromators, collimators, power meters, light sources and integrating spheres
  • Experience working with environmental test equipment such as thermal air chamber, TVAC chamber, shaker table, power supplies, and multimeters

Benefits While Working at Planet:

  • Comprehensive Health Plan
  • Wellness program and onsite massages in specific offices
  • Flexible Time Off
  • Recognition Programs
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Learning and Tuition Reimbursement
  • Parental Leave
  • Offsites and Happy Hours
  • Volunteering Benefits


The US base salary range for this full-time position at the commencement of employment is $97,600 - $160,500. Additionally, this role might be eligible for discretionary short-term and long-term incentives (bonus and equity). The final salary range is determined by job related experience, skills and location. The range displays our typical hiring range for new hire salaries in US locations only. Your recruiter can share more about the specific salary range for your preferred location during the hiring process.

Why we care so much about Belonging.

We’re dedicated to helping the whole Planet, and to do that we must strive to represent all of it within each of our offices and on all of our teams. That’s why Planet is guided by an ultimate north star of Belonging, dreaming big as we approach our ongoing work with diversity, equity and inclusion. If this job intrigues you, but you’re thinking you might not have all the qualifications, please... do apply! At Planet, we are looking for well-rounded people from around the world who can contribute to more ways than just what is listed in this job description. We don’t just fill positions, we aspire to fulfill people’s careers, most excited about folks who are motivated by our underlying humanitarian efforts. We are a few orbits around the sun before we get to where we want to be, so we hope you’re excited to come along for the ride.

EEO statement:

Planet is committed to building a community where everyone belongs and we invite people from all backgrounds to apply. Planet is an equal opportunity employer, and committed to providing employment opportunities regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected classification, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Know Your Rights.


Planet is an inclusive community and we know that everyone has their own needs. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation during the hiring process, please call Planet's front office at 669-214-9404 or contact your recruiter with your request. Your message will be confidential and we will be happy to assist you.

Privacy Policy: By clicking "Apply Now" at the top of this job posting, I acknowledge that I have read the Planet Data Privacy Notice for California Staff Members and Applicants, and hereby consent to the collection, processing, use, and storage of my personal information as described therein.

Privacy Policy (European Applicants): By clicking "Apply Now" at the top of this job posting, I acknowledge that I have read the Candidate Privacy Notice GDPR Planet Labs Europe, and hereby consent to the collection, processing, use, and storage of my personal information as described therein.