Experimental Guidance, Navigation, and Control Integration Engineer - Army Research Laboratory

Position: Experimental Guidance, Navigation, and Control Integration Engineer
BS/MS in electrical, mechanical, aerospace engineering or other appropriate discipline or related Associates degree in with 3+ years’ experience or equivalent significant flight testing and integration experience of 5+ years.
• Must be able to pass a background check
• US Citizenship required
Description: ARL is seeking one full time engineer to develop, integrate, and fly small and mid-sized experimental unmanned aerial systems to support and demonstrate research including but not limited to: 2D and 3D mapping, obstacle avoidance, neural network-based visual perception, visual/inertial odometry, and emergent learned behaviors. Interested candidates should enjoy the wide range of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering required to take established algorithms for autonomous operation and realizing them on an actual flying vehicle.
Required Skills and Knowledge:
• Experience with flying small and mid-sized drones and setting up a Pixhawk autopilot to control a vehicle.
• Comfortable with flying a large (~100 lbs) unmanned drone system
• Ability to set waypoints, upload sets of waypoints from a ground station, and safely execute a flight plan.
• Familiarity with various operating modes of drones, including manual (orientation tracking), velocity control, and position control mode.
• Knowledge of basic C/C++ programming to permit modification of autopilot code as needed to support experimental needs.
• Comfortable with executing custom trajectories on flying vehicles based on multimodal sensor inputs; (e.g. closed loop behaviors, active perception, object detection and tracking and maneuvering to improve object visibility)
• Basic familiarity with Linux OS
• Ability to understand electronic circuit diagrams and trouble shoot/assemble integrate setups.
• Able to document results and communicate electronically, verbally and in writing as necessary.
• Able to work in a team environment and coordinate and communicate with researchers above and below the individual’s level and across multiple disciplines.
Desired Skills and Knowledge:
• Familiarity with the Robot Operating System (ROS) architecture and comfort with using this architecture to integrate various software modules.
• Familiarity with using an embedded single board computer (e.g. NVIDIA TX1, ODROID XU4, Raspberry Pi 3) as a companion board to communicate with a Pixhawk Autopilot.
• Familiarity with visual perception and mapping algorithms.
Environment and Team Description:
The Army Research Laboratory’s Electronics for Sense and Control (ESC) Team seeks to enable revolutionary advances in intelligent systems, specifically in the areas of 3D mapping and perception, localization and odometry in austere and challenging environments, AI and machine learning to support development of enhanced active perception and composable behaviors, and methods of efficient human/autonomy teaming.
The ESC team is comprised of a diverse technical team with highly interconnected projects. We foster an environment where hard work is rewarded; integrity is respected; and, insight, wherever it may come from, is valued. We honestly believe that a diversity of opinions should not only be respected, but it is expected, and we think that it is the only way to enable revolutionary advances. Team members each bring a unique skill set that we expect them to apply across completely novel applications. Individuals are expected to be highly self-reliant, and simultaneously capable and willing to work across disciplines in dynamic team projects.
ARL is committed to hiring a diverse workforce of world-class researchers that fosters an inclusive approach; and all eligible applicants including veterans, wounded warriors, and those with non-traditional educations are encouraged to apply.
Location: Army Research Laboratory - Adelphi Laboratory Center (Adelphi, MD);
The location is in the Greater Washington D.C. area, and it is anticipated that the successful applicant will spend most of his/her time at ALC location with minimal travel.
NOTE: This position is available as a fulltime traineeship (1-3 year post graduation and perhaps wishing to continue for further education) or as a contractor position.
Contact POC:
Please send all responses and inquiries regarding these positions to:
Joseph Conroy, PhD
Team Lead (A): Electronics for Sense and Control
Army Research Laboratory
Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate