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Innovation Endeavors
Innovation Endeavors

Senior Modem Software/Firmware Engineer



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, April 28, 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 Flight Software team is responsible for creating the software systems that run on all of our satellites, including control and telemetry, radio communications, payload software, and embedded firmware.

As a member of the FSW team, you will be working to develop the software that powers the high speed RF communications systems that our satellites depend on to deliver image data back to Earth. You will also be designing and owning system components on our next generation satellite technical roadmap. This will involve working with a broad variety of disciplines, including our top-notch payload, electrical design and mission control teams!

Impact You’ll Own:

  • Design, develop, test and debug software for high performance satellite radio systems
  • Collaborate with cross functional teams (RF, EE, FPGA) to develop and improve system architecture for new and existing satellite systems
  • Support hardware bring-up, validation, and tuning efforts for the systems you develop

What You Bring:

  • Proven history of thinking through complex, interdisciplinary design problems as well as debugging to identify and correct root causes
  • Experience developing software that implements or controls high speed wired/wireless hardware at the PHY/MAC/LLC layers
  • Experience selecting and implementing algorithms for modulation, synchronization, framing and data integrity
  • Knowledge of wired or wireless terrestrial/satellite communications standards such as DVBS, 802.11 series, Bluetooth, as well as high performance hardware data interconnects
  • 5+ years of programming experience in C or C++. Ideally, development for microcontrollers and/or low-level Linux drivers
  • Excellent technical and organizational communication skills, especially in advisory or mentorship role
  • Ability to tackle broad, loosely-defined assignments with minimal supervision in an iterative manner; including, but not limited to requirement development, research, prototyping, design, code and unit testing, integration testing, tool development
  • Comfortable with common open-source development tools (GCC, make) in a Linux environment
  • Proponent of continuous integration and automated testing
  • Familiar with build systems for Linux and embedded targets. Experience with DVCS such as git or mercurial

What Makes You Stand Out:

  • Experience with software defined radios, digital signal processing, and digital communication techniques
  • Experience working with and integrating software with FPGAs
  • Experience with GNURadio and linux development tools
  • Experience defining and measuring radio performance metrics such as SNR, BER, PER, and constellation visualization in real time
  • 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, FPGA development, or guidance, navigation and control
  • Knowledge of industry standards for software quality practices

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 $196,800 - $246,000. 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.

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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.