Electro-optical Systems Flight Test Engineer | Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB

: Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB - Air Force Civilian
February 15, 2024
May 15, 2024
Edwards Air Force Base, United States of America
Job Type
IA Member?
Student Standing Desired
  • BS
  • MS
  • PhD
  • Alumni
Citizenship Desired or Required
  • US Citizen


US Citizens Only

POC and request an interview: Karapet Gyurjyan

Job Description (Full Details in PDF)
Electro-optical Systems Flight Test Engineers are involved in testing cutting edge advanced electro-optics, infrared and laser systems as well as directed energy technology. If hired, the applicant will join the civilian workforce of the Air Force Test Center (AFTC) located at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Engineers working for the AFTC are currently involved in testing various aircraft and systems for the Air Force. The aircraft currently under test include the F-16 Falcon, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system and many more. The electro-optical systems currently under test include the SNIPER and LITENING advanced targeting pods, the ROVER portable video downlink system, F-35 Electro-optical Targeting System (EOTS) and Distributed Aperture System (DAS), RQ-4 MS-177 multi-spectral, Infrared Search and Track, Remote Vision Systems, helmets, displays as well as many other systems.
While employed by the AFTC, engineers receive the best training available and during the first year of employment are assigned a mentor. Engineers will learn to perform/master some or all of the following tasks:

A) Research the system under test.
B) Author test plans, safety packages, test reports, and flight cards.
C) Perform ground tests while sitting in the aircraft
D) Learn specific aircraft flight characteristics via high fidelity aircraft simulators (think video games on steroids)
E) Conduct and/or monitor flight test missions from a mission control room (think Apollo 11)
F) Participate in career specific and career broadening training
G) Travel in the course of their duties
H) Work with contractors, military personnel, and other government employees to develop the most efficient and effective test procedures and products
I) Develop and operate custom data analysis tools, primarily in MatLab and Python, to analyze the data collected on test flights
J) Develop and conduct lab testing
K) Develop and conduct modeling and simulation
L) Become familiar with and use statistics for data collection, analysis, inference and summaries
M) Report on results
N) Innovate and improve best practices for the future

This position is only open to US citizens and is geared more towards engineers with degrees in Optical, Electrical, Computer or Systems Engineering. Aerospace, Mechanical and Materials Science Engineering majors along with Physics and Applied Mathematics will be considered if they have aviation and/or military interest or background and are also interested in working with avionics and sensors.
This position consists of testing and evaluating contractor designed and manufactured systems. Though we don’t design the systems, we do design the test and custom tools to analyze the data gathered from the test. It is however, very important to understand as much about the design and environmental physics as possible to better test and evaluate the system. Our engineers find working with the final system as integrated on its host aircraft as a near end-product challenging and rewarding. The job requires a great deal of interaction with aircrew and learning about how the system is used in combat. Our engineers are challenged with a great deal of responsibility early on including understanding the system and its requirements/specifications, designing a test within the trade space/constraints, deciding how to test and evaluate, analyzing the data and reporting on the results. In addition, creatively innovating with new ways of testing and evaluating through an innovation committee is highly encouraged for each engineer. We are currently building a state-of-the-art electro-optics/infrared/laser laboratory, acquiring complex modeling and simulation tools as well a large-scale optical field targets and custom in-flight infrared truth measurement systems for cutting edge test and evaluation techniques utilizing digital engineering. We also have a flying program so engineers can experience what aircrew experience in an actual back-seat flight(s) to better understand the unique flight environment of system operation/performance! Every day you will make a difference for your country! If you like to be challenged, want to be on the cutting edge of aviation and electro-optical/infrared systems, and you want a fun and exciting career, then the AFTC is the place for you.

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