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Senior Flight Controls Engineer



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

About Zipline

Do you want to change the world? Zipline is on a mission to transform the way goods move. Our aim is to solve the world’s most urgent and complex access challenges by building, manufacturing and operating the first instant delivery and logistics system that serves all humans equally, wherever they are. From powering Rwanda’s national blood delivery network and Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to providing on-demand home delivery for Walmart, to enabling healthcare providers to bring care directly to U.S. homes, we are transforming the way things move for businesses, governments and consumers.
The technology is complex but the idea is simple: a teleportation service that delivers what you need, when you need it. Through our technology that includes robotics and autonomy, we are decarbonizing delivery, decreasing road congestion, and reducing fossil fuel consumption and air pollution, while providing equitable access to billions of people and building a more resilient global supply chain.
Join Zipline and help us to make good on our promise to build an equitable and more resilient global supply chain for billions of people.

About You and The Role

Zipline’s GNC team is at the heart of our product’s success. Our team is responsible for developing, testing and maintaining critical flight software systems that enable our aircraft to complete missions autonomously. We thrive on developing novel solutions to ensure our delivery platforms can function in a wide range of increasingly challenging conditions, ensuring that we serve everyone in the world equally.

In this role, you’ll be designing and developing the core flight algorithms and associated software to ensure the aircraft is sufficiently responsive to perform required maneuvers accurately and reject increasingly challenging disturbances. You’ll be continuously validating your work through software and hardware-based testing — from simulation to operational flights in our global fleet of production aircraft. Success in this role leads directly to improved operational capability of our delivery network.

What You'll Do

  • Design, implement, test and release innovative flight algorithms that improve the operational performance of our vehicle controllers
  • Create tools and tests to demonstrate your design performance and protect against software regressions, using both theoretical guarantees and simulations
  • Analyze flight data to assess recent changes and upgrades, looking for regressions and potential areas for future improvement
  • Design onboard integrity tests to communicate when the system performance is degraded

What You'll Bring

  • Software engineering skills, preferably with both embedded software (C, C++) and technical computing (MATLAB, Python, Julia, etc.) and working in a multi-developer environment
  • Applied math skills that stand out even among aerospace engineers, particularly in linear algebra, probability and Bayesian estimation
  • Experience and excitement for both simulations and working with hardware
  • Exposure in one or more of the following areas: precision integrated inertial navigation, dynamic modeling of complex systems, linear control analysis, optimal control with uncertainty, or state estimation in novel circumstances
  • You’ve built flying things from scratch, either professionally or as part of design competitions

What Else You Need to Know

The starting cash range for this role is $170,000 - $210,000. Please note that this is a target, starting cash range for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for this role. The final cash pay for this role will depend on a variety of factors, including a specific candidate's experience, qualifications, skills, working location, and projected impact. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; discretionary annual or performance bonuses; sales incentives; benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; paid time off; and more.
Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion or religious creed, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship, or other characteristics protected by state, federal or local law or our other policies.
We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!