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Principal DSP Engineer (Starshield)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2023

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


Starshield leverages SpaceX’s Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts. While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use, with an initial focus on earth observation, communications, and hosted payloads.

As a DSP engineer on the Starshield satellite team, you will be a part of a mission to provide global connectivity to the US government including immediate access to critical intelligence and national security data anywhere it is needed. You will work with a team of RF engineers, DSP engineers, software engineers, hardware engineers and end users to design and build systems for proliferated sensing in low earth orbit. You will work in a highly collaborative and fast-paced environment, where we are exploring unsolved problems and applying the SpaceX mindset of iterating rapidly to go from design and demo to operational capability at lightning pace.


  • Drive program-level decisions on sensor firmware and software designs
  • Research novel solutions for large-scale RF sensing systems
  • Design and test algorithms for on-orbit and ground-based sensor data processing
  • Work in close collaboration with FPGA, RF/antenna, and software engineers to design and validate RF sensing systems
  • Perform on-orbit demonstrations and testing


  • 8+ years of professional experience in software development with a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, math, or STEM discipline; OR 10+ years of professional experience in software development in lieu of a degree
  • 6+ years development experience in Python, C or C++


  • Developed and deployed software that has been used in real-world applications and projects
  • Solid fundamental knowledge of computer architecture and networks
  • Strong skills in debugging, performance optimization and unit testing
  • Ability to work effectively and creatively in a dynamic environment with changing needs and requirements
  • Ability to work independently and in a team, take initiative, and communicate effectively
  • Active Top Secret, Top Secret SCI, OR ability and willingness to obtain a Top Secret clearance (is desired but not required)


  • Note that an active clearance may provide the opportunity for you to work on sensitive SpaceX missions; if so, you will be subject to pre-employment drug and random drug and alcohol testing
  • Must be willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed


Pay Range:
Principal DSP Engineerl: $200,000.00 - $270,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.