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Director of RF Intelligence



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Spire Global is a space-to-cloud analytics company that owns and operates the largest multi-purpose constellation of satellites. Its proprietary data and algorithms provide the most advanced maritime, aviation, and weather tracking in the world. In addition to its constellation, Spire’s data infrastructure includes a global ground station network and 24/7 operations that provide real-time global coverage of every point on Earth.

The Role

The RF intelligence team is part of Spire’s office of the CTO. Spire owns and operates over 120 nanosatellites constantly collecting RF activity across the spectrum and this team has the responsibility of adapting and developing RF payloads to support spectrum monitoring, geolocation and other signal intelligence projects. Detection of Illegal fishing, trafficking, and GNSS jammer detection and geolocation are all daily applications one can look forward to in this role.

This role requires a wide range of skills, from the translation of customer needs into requirements to systems engineering, working with space-based RF monitoring systems, signal intelligence and processing, single and multi-satellite geolocation algorithms, signal demodulation, and similar problem areas. You will be expected to manage technical development projects through the various lifecycle phases from requirements definition through operations and sustainment and manage a small but highly technical team to execute on these projects. You will also help architect the signal processing algorithms and codes to use Spire's existing RF payloads for signals intelligence purposes and will help architect new payloads from scratch.

You will have the responsibility to ensure that we deliver high-quality, low-latency services and products and have the freedom to pursue novel, high-impact applications. Instead of your ideas and efforts sitting on a shelf or hidden in an academic journal, you will see and experience them actually working in space within months of joining Spire!


  • Lead a dynamic, multidisciplinary engineering team to deliver integrated solutions in the domain of RF intelligence
  • Contribute to the technical team developments, architecting and developing signals intelligence processing solutions
  • Manage requirements gathering, feasibility analysis, project scoping, documentation management, resource planning and cost estimation
  • Represent the technical team to internal and external stakeholders
  • Contribute to project proposals, white papers and product architecture definitions
  • Work in close collaboration with FPGA, RF, antenna, and software engineers to design and validate RF intelligence systems
  • Run on-ground testing and on-orbit demonstration campaigns

Basic Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated proficiency in Matlab and/or Python.
  • Demonstrated signal processing and DSP experience, preferably using satellite-based radio-frequency observations.
  • Must have a proven track record working within a multidisciplinary team with the ability to generate concepts with minimal direction, develop those concepts into project plans, and lead the team through execution of the plans to the delivery of a product ready for production.
  • Familiar with advanced signal processing techniques for detecting and characterizing a priori unknown signal structures.
  • Knowledge of GNSS, geolocation, position navigation and timing (PNT), and techniques such as TDOA, FDOA, and AOA/LOB
  • Experience with detection, classification, and estimation techniques and theory
  • Degree in Aerospace engineering/Electrical engineering/Computer science/Mathematics, or another technical field related to signal processing or RF and signals intelligence.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficiency in C or C++ programming, including implementation on resource-constrained systems
  • Experience with Docker, ECS or Linux Containers in a production environment
  • Experience with cloud computing frameworks, ideally the AWS ecosystem
  • Experience writing technical reports and proposals
  • Experience with Software-Defined Radio (e.g. GNU Radio, USRP, DSP)
  • Knowledge of the physical, link and network layers for wireless communication modules
  • Understanding of RF Hardware design, RF components, antenna theory, etc.
  • Knowledge of digital communication systems and typical modulation and encoding techniques

Spire is Global and our success draws upon the diverse viewpoints, skills, and experiences of our employees. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity or veteran status.

The anticipated base salary range for this position is $171,000 to $202,500. Final base salary for this role will be based on the location, skills, experience and qualifications. In addition to base compensation, this role is eligible for annual equity awards and our employee benefits program, including vacation, sick, and personal time off; optional medical, dental, vision, life, and disability coverage; a 401(K) plan; health and wellness reimbursement program; and participation in Spire’s Employee Stock Purchase Plan.