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Hardware Test Engineer



Software Engineering, Other Engineering, Quality Assurance
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 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:

The Manufacturing Test Engineering Team is responsible for creating and maintaining the tests and infrastructure for our satellite manufacturing operations. Test Engineers on our team tackle projects large and small to design and build software and hardware to automate functional & integration testing, instrument calibration, and qualification testing for both production and design validation. As a member of the Manufacturing Test Engineering team, you will collaborate with design engineers to develop board-level and component-level test plans, and be responsible for designing and developing the test fixtures, test hardware and test software. This will involve working with a broad variety of disciplines, including our top-notch design, qualification, and manufacturing teams.

This position is full time based in our headquarters in San Francisco, CA (5 days a week).

Impact You’ll Own:

  • Develop test plans in collaboration with design engineers
  • Develop custom board test fixtures and interface electronics and cabling
  • Develop bringup and boundary scan tests to enable rapid initial test coverage
  • Develop full functional tests for manufacturing, including under thermal cycling conditions
  • Continuous improvement of test software and hardware to ensure high reliability of test systems
  • Troubleshoot defective boards in collaboration with R&D, Validation, and Manufacturing

What You Bring:

  • Strong technical writing skills for authoring Test Plans
  • Experience creating system diagrams as well as detailed wiring diagrams
  • Experience troubleshooting hardware/software issues and identifying root causes
  • Familiarity with measurement hardware and test equipment such as DMMs, oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, analog and digital I/O, data acquisition systems, switch matrices, relay banks, and signal conditioning
  • Programming experience, with willingness to code in Python
  • Comfortable using Linux
  • Experience with DVCS such as git or mercurial

What Makes You Stand Out:

  • Demonstrated ability to design PCBAs from schematic capture to layout as well as board bring-up/validation.
  • Experience writing instrument drivers
  • Knowledge of industry techniques for PCBA test
  • Experience with Altium tools for PCB design
  • SolidWorks CAD design experience for prototyping fabrication, and
  • Hands-on experience with light fabrication (3D printing, laser cutting, machine shop tools)
  • Working knowledge of Boundary Scan, and experience developing boundary scan tests
  • Experience designing test fixtures
  • Strong Python programming skills
  • Comfortable scripting or using tools to analyze large datasets
  • Demonstrated experience developing bed of nails test fixtures
  • Contributions to open source projects
  • Experience with previous aerospace projects or cubesats
  • Experience in the mobile, networking, medical, robotics, IoT, or similar embedded device industries
  • Experience with some of our key technical areas, such as cameras or other image sensors, high-speed radio communication, high data rate storage systems

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 $114,100 - $142,600. 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.

This position requires access to export controlled technology, and as such, employment will be contingent upon the candidate’s ability to access EAR and/or ITAR controlled technology pursuant to an export license approved by the Bureau of Industry and Security and/or the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, if required.

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 (415)-829-3313 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.