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Senior FPGA and Modem Lead



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 5, 2023

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:

Planet is constantly working on next generation systems and space platforms and we are seeking an engineer to implement next generation communication capabilities. You will help develop FPGA infrastructure, functional specifications, implement new designs and integrate commercial IP blocks and software. You will help architect the divisions between FPGA and Flight Software functionality. You will lead the development of the modems that use both of these pieces to transfer data between third party networks and the Planet network. You will collaborate with RF engineers, electrical engineers, ground software developers, and ground RF engineers to implement ground demonstrations and flight demonstrations of these capabilities, transitioning the flight capabilities into operational status after successful demonstrations.. Simply put, you will build the space systems of tomorrow.

Impact You’ll Own:

  • FPGA and software architecture definition, component validation, and functional and performance analysis
  • Implement, optimize, customize and validate high speed data pipelines, DSP/modem blocks and digital communications designs along with integration of 3rd party IP
  • Perform FPGA timing analysis and closure
  • RTL coding in Verilog / System Verilog / VHDL
  • Evaluate and characterize 3rd party communications ASIC solutions
  • Lab verification and test bench automation.
  • Collaboration with regulatory leads, program management, and manufacturing engineers to productionize your designs

What You Bring:

  • 5+ years of experience building, simulating, verifying, and testing FPGA-based digital designs
  • Experience in hardware / software co-design
  • Proficiency in formal verification methods for FPGA/ASIC design
  • Experience interfacing with high speed ADCs and DACs
  • Experience with Verilog, VHDL, or other FPGA hardware description languages
  • Experience in Linux, Python, and data analysis
  • Technical expertise in FPGA development, software defined radio, or signal processing/digital communication
  • BS in Electrical/Computer Science or equivalent work experience. MS/P.hD preferred

What Makes You Stand Out:

  • Experience with Xilinx/Vivado design suite environment
  • Experience with Altium or similar EDA tools, HFSS/ADS or other RF simulation tools
  • Understanding of RF test equipment, logic analyzers, oscilloscopes, and hands on lab experience testing complex RF systems
  • Excited by working in an agile, fast-paced environment, even in times of uncertainty and ambiguity

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 $109,800 - $180,600. 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.


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 interview 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.