Space Networking Systems Engineer

Laurel MD Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)


Are you a computer networking scientist or engineer interested in helping our nation develop the future of space-based networked constellations?


Does learning about new networking protocols, security standards, and autonomous management approaches sound like a fun and engaging challenge?


If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.


We are seeking a computer networking professional to help us architect the next generation of space-based networks in near-Earth, cislunar, and deep space. Our missions include the robotic exploration of our solar system spanning Sol's corona to Pluto, and beyond. Our spacecraft technologies help our civilian space and national security space sponsors reason about multiple new technologies including space-based networking, machine learning, cyber security, and image recognition. As a member of our team, you will develop novel solutions for networking embedded, real-time space systems. You will work with teams of engineers and scientists passionate about innovation and driven to make a real difference. We strive to cultivate an environment that promotes professional growth, a balanced life, and encourage diversity of thought.


As a space networking systems engineer,

  • Your primary responsibility will be to work with our sponsors to develop space networking architectures, to include the technical analysis of emerging networking protocols and standards.
  • You will contribute to the constructions of networking simulation and emulation environments to collect metrics, demonstrate benefits, and assess new technologies for our sponsors.
  • You will collaborate with a variety of sponsors and experts in the field of computer networking and help craft the protocols, standards, and implementations that will make our nation's space-based networking aspirations a reality.
  • You will become part of a team of flight software engineers, spacecraft systems engineers, and data system engineers passionately working towards the exploration of our solar system.


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you…

  • Possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Electrical or Computer Engineering, or related field.
  • Have 5+ years of experience engineering computer networking software and/or networked software applications.
  • Have an understanding of the technical details of modern networking and transport protocols (e.g., IPv4, IPv6, UDP, TCP, QUIC), network management protocols (NETCONF, RESTCONF), and security protocols (IPSec, TLS).
  • Have demonstrated experience delivering and deploying embedded software solutions to operational systems.
  • Have working knowledge of agile methodology, techniques, and frameworks to deliver software solutions.
  • Good interpersonal skills – capable of working independently or collaboratively on a team.
  • Good written and oral communication skills.
  • Hold an active Top Secret security clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you…

  • Possess a Master's Degree or Ph.D. in Computer Science, Electrical or Computer Engineering, or related field.
  • Have 7 or more years of professional work experience.
  • Have experience developing or deploying network infrastructure technologies, including routers, switches, load balancers, and wireless access points.
  • Have written real-time and/or spacecraft flight software or have knowledge of flight software frameworks such as the Core Flight Executive (CFE) or Core Flight Services (CFS).
  • Have experience with Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) protocols and/or systems for time-transfer.
  • Have familiarity with newer networking protocols such as BPv7 and BPSec.

Be Part of Something Innovative


Over the past 25 years, the Space Exploration Sector at APL, has pushed the boundaries of what is possible; delivering game-changing impacts to sponsors like NASA and the Department of Defense. This includes historic, science space firsts like New Horizons reaching Pluto, Parker Solar Probe being the first to “touch” the sun, and the DART mission that redirected an asteroid for planetary defense. As a not-for-profit university affiliated research center, APL also delivered solutions to our nation’s national security challenges, as proven with the recent Deep Space Advanced Radar Concept (DARC) Tech Demo, and acts as a trusted partner with the US Space Force in space domain awareness and space-integrated warfare.


APL teams are currently developing missions that will advance the search for life in the Solar System through programs such as Europa Clipper and Dragonfly, exploring the lunar and cislunar domains, and providing fundamental knowledge of our Sun’s influence on the near-Earth environment through IMAP and other research and technology endeavors.  To learn about these APL’s mission and projects, and


Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.


At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at



About Us

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, occupation, marital or familial status, political opinion, personal appearance, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


APL is committed to promoting an innovative environment that embraces diversity, encourages creativity, and supports inclusion of new ideas. In doing so, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals of all abilities, including those with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in any part of the hiring process, please contact Only by ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard are we empowered to be bold, do great things, and make the world a better place.

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