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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Orbital Analyst in Lexington, Massachusetts

The Advanced Sensors and Techniques Group operates the Lincoln Laboratory Experimental Test Site (ETS) in Socorro, New Mexico and the Lincoln Space Surveillance Complex (LSSC) in Westford, Massachusetts. LSSC is comprised of the Millstone deep-space satellite tracking radar, the Haystack Ultra-wideband Satellite Imaging Radar (HUSIR) and the Haystack Auxiliary imaging radar (HAX). All these radars are remotely controlled from the Lexington Space Situational Awareness Center (LSSAC) which serves as a data processing and fusion node for the LSSC and other ground and space-based space surveillance sensors. Together, ETS, the LSSC and LSSAC serve as an operational test bed for space situational awareness technologies and provide access to a rich set of radar and optical data. The group's current research and development efforts focus on problems such as tracking and identification of newly launched satellites, tracking and discrimination of satellites in geosynchronous clusters, automated radar image exploitation, close approach monitoring and collision warning, applications of multi-sensor data fusion, and decision support. The group is also developing a net-centric, service-oriented architecture that networks all of these capabilities together in an integrated information system

The Advanced Sensors and Techniques Group is seeking a candidate at the Specialist level to work with a team of orbital analysts at LSSC. The Orbital Analyst will support LSSC Operations on all aspects of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Control. This includes all new domestic and foreign satellite launches. Identification of newly launched satellites and objects. Maintenance of the space object catalog. Tracking and discrimination of satellites in geosynchronous clusters. Clsoe approach monitoring and collision warning. Satellite owner-operator anomaly support. This position requires coordination with several government entities to include the 18th Space Control Squadron, Combined Space Operations Center, National Air and Space Intelligence Center and the National Space Defense Center. Position requires off-hours operational support. This position requires close coordination with several sponsors to include 18th Space Control Squadron and Combined Space Operations Center. The Orbital Analyst position requires off-hours operational support and weekly rotating shift work, to include nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.

Requirements: The minimum education requirement for this position is a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mathematics, Astronomy or a related field. In lieu of the BSc degree an Associate degree with 5+ years of directly related experience will be considered. Prior military experience in a radar-related discipline is highly desirable. The candidate is expected to have an in-depth knowledge of orbital mechanics and operational concepts associated with space operations and radar systems.

The position requires access to classified information and the candidate must be able to obtain and maintain a Department of Defense TOP SECRET security clearance. A strong preference is given to candidates already in possession of at least a Secret DoD clearance.

Ability to demonstrate effective communication skills and the ability to convey technical concepts in a clear, concise manner to a wide spectrum of audiences are required.


The mission of the Advanced Sensors and Techniques group is to develop and demonstrate tactically-relevant Space Situational Awareness (SSA) in support of space control. The group focuses on the techniques, operational concepts, and advanced sensor systems that are needed to obtain timely and predictive information about space objects.

This work is enabled by hands-on access to an operational network of space surveillance sensor systems. The group operates the Lincoln Space Surveillance Complex (LSSC), comprising the Millstone radar, Haystack Ultra-wideband Satellite Imaging Radar (HUSIR), and the Haystack Auxiliary (HAX) radar. The group is also responsible for the space mission at the Reagan Test Site (RTS) on Kwajalein. The Lexington Space Situational Awareness Center (LSSAC) serves as a central mission-support center and data-fusion node, with data feeds from the entire Space Surveillance Network and prototype sensor systems including the 3.5-meter Space Surveillance Telescope. These systems form a test range that is used to develop and demonstrate novel tactical SSA techniques such as optics-cued radar search, high-interest object monitoring, high-value asset neighborhood watch, and new launch custody.


Support Air Force Space Command in the maintenance of an accurate space object catalog of orbital elements for all man-made objects in space. Derive accurate orbital elements through the use of MITLL orbital analysis software tools. Correct inaccuracies and report findings to the sponsor.

Support launch of new satellites by collecting all available pre-launch information, creating and distributing Launch Reports, entering predicted orbital information into database, assisting sensors with acquisition and identification of objects, reporting anomalies, and monitoring all objects closely through all orbital maneuvers until final orbit is achieved. Assure that space object catalog information is current and accurate.

Support mission operations activities at the LSSAC, LSSC and RTS, resolving object identification discrepancies, scheduling radar tracking of objects as required by sponsors, providing best orbital elements for target acquisition, and act as test director during support of new launches.

Use MITLL orbital analysis software tools to determine accurate tagging of radar tracks, derive orbital elements, and predict visibilities based on orbital elements.

Work independently and with a team of Orbital Analysts and others (Test Directors, Technicians, and Software Engineers) to support all mission operations and orbital analysis tool software development.

Position routinely requires off-hours operational support.


BS in Aerospace Engineering, Math, Physics, or Astronomy required.

Two or more years of experience in one of the following areas. Orbital dynamics, spacecraft operations, radar operations, radar waveforms, and radar cross section measurements.

Proven ability to support a broad range of problems in a dynamic team environment is required.

Experience and desire to work with software developers to develop new orbital analysis software tools and maintain current tools.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to interface with the sponsor on a daily basis are required.

The ability to obtain and maintain a government (DoD) Top Secret SCI security clearance is required. Candidates with an active Top Secret clearance and SCI eligibility are highly desired.

For Benefits Information, click

Selected candidate will be subject to a pre-employment background investigation and must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret level DoD security clearance.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, disability status, or genetic information; U.S. citizenship is required.

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