Radio Frequency (RF) Design Engineer - Entry to Expert Level (MD Location)

National Security Agency   Fort Meade, MD   Full-time     Engineering
Posted on September 15, 2023
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Are you someone interested in all things RF? Is your idea of a good time building out a better ham radio? Do you enjoy logical analysis of complex tasks? If so, RF Engineering, a core component capability development activity within NSA, may be for you! NSA's highly technical RF workforce keeps pace with RF advances and enables NSA to address threats to our Nation and our Allies by supporting worldwide Signals Intelligence requirements of our military commanders and national policymakers. The NSA is seeking talented colleagues to join world class team of analysts, engineers, researchers and developers who work on projects using antenna and receiver design, RF signals analysis, end-to-end system design, and emitter location and direction finding techniques in order to design, develop and deploy advanced survey and collection capabilities to propel our mission. At NSA, RF Engineers develop the technologies, communications and capabilities to maintain our global advantage in both information gathering and national defense. RF Engineers acquire target signals, condition them for follow-on processing and deliver end-to-end solutions for survey, collection and emitter location and follow on analysis. Use your unique experience and expertise to protect national security interests! RF Engineers can be directly hired to support a mission organization or into the Radio Frequency Development Program (RFDP). The RFDP is a three-year full-time paid development program for junior RF engineers to develop and expand skills while making meaningful contributions to NSA's mission. This talented group will have the opportunity to take part in customized mentoring, professional development and world-wide travel while sampling a breadth of RF engineering activities. As an RF Engineer, your responsibilities can include: - Design, build, test and deploy end-to-end RF systems, from the antenna through follow-on processors. - Design, build, test and deploy communications systems using commercial off the shelf (COTS)/government off the shelf (GOTS) radios, software-defined radios (SDR) and SDR frameworks, as well as field programmable gate array (FPGA) technologies. - Design, develop, construct, test and maintain hardware and software processing components; typically subsystems of communication, collection, processing or analysis systems. - Conduct RF site surveys and include results in the design and performance assessments of RF systems. - Work with and/or lead project teams to satisfy operational requirements for RF systems. - Analyze results of RF collection in support of national mission requirements - Lead new advances in RF engineering and push the leading edge of RF communications technologies: - Antenna theory, design, and fabrication techniques with particular focus on beam-forming technologies - Modulation (BPSK, QPSK, spread spectrum, etc.), demodulation and signal separation techniques - Low power, space and cooling environments (including embedded systems) - Commercial telecommunication standards, protocols and topologies - Compression and other bandwidth optimization techniques - RF interference detection and mitigation approaches - Active RF techniques - Low probability intercept (LPI) and low probability of detection (LPD) techniques - Service-oriented architectures
The ideal candidate is someone with excellent problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills who is able to: - Work equally well independently and in a team environment - Effectively address multiple concurrent projects - Synthesize information to solve complex problems - Apply knowledge of communications theory to RF engineering problems - Develop, diagnose, and operate survey and collection systems - Identify customer needs and validate system design - Operate in a fast-paced environment Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following is desired: - Applying principles, methods, analysis, and applications of radio frequency theory such as radio wave propagation, antenna theory, antenna usage - Applying principles, methods, and applications of communication theory such as signal processing, decision theory, estimation theory and modulation-demodulation - Applying concepts, theories, and methods for designing, analyzing, testing, and integrating electrical and communications systems; includes aspects of energy conversion, electrical power generation, and energy transmission, control, distribution, or use - Applying principles of math, physics, electronics theory, electrical network theory, and control systems to the design, fabrication, and testing of devices that are designed to operate in the radio frequency spectrum - Hardware design; includes analog (A/D, amplifiers, power supplies, switches), board-level (board layout, circuit analysis, firmware), chip technologies (ASIC, CMOS, VHDL, VLSI), and digital (control logic, control systems, DSP, serial communications) - Programming (e.g., Assembly Language, C, C++, Fortran, JAVA, Matlab, Python, Ruby, Shell Script, Turbo C, VHDL, System Verilog, Visual Basic) - Computer networking (e.g., communication protocols, distributed systems, Internet of Things, real-time systems, routing and switching) - Lab equipment (e.g. spectrum analyzers, oscilloscopes, network analyzers, etc.) - Amateur or HAM Radio clubs - Open-source Wi-Fi tools
Salary offers are based on candidates' education level and years of experience relevant to the position and also take into account information provided by the hiring manager/organization regarding the work level for the position. Salary ranges vary by work level. This position is hiring for Maryland. Salary Range: $81,233 - $183,500 (Entry/Developmental, Full Performance, Senior, Expert) On-the job training, Internal NSA courses, and external training will be made available based on the need and experience of the selectee. Typical work schedule is Monday - Friday, with basic 8 hr/day work requirements between 0600 and 1800 (flexible).
As an Engineering and Physical Science professional, you will use your skills to create the systems and tools that will be used to enhance the operation of intelligence. You will advise, administer and perform scientific projects, such as planning, designing, and constructing specialized equipment, and ensuring adherence to sound engineering and scientific standards and principles. The NSA offers multiple areas of focus for facilities engineers, including computer, architectural, electrical, mechanical, and structural. In addition, we are seeking skills that include computer design, microelectronics, radio frequency design, and systems engineering. Apply your science and engineering skills to protect the nation.
Apply soonest, as job postings can close earlier than stated end dates due to changes in requirements. It is important to review and note the minimum qualifications, as only those applicants who meet the required qualifications will be contacted to continue the employment process. Please populate the resume tool to showcase any relevant work experience and education related to the position and answer any applicable screening questions. Information collected will be used to determine eligibility, and failure to provide accurate information may result in disqualification for this position. A confirmation email will be sent after submission of the first application and also after any future updates to submitted applications. **Due to time sensitive communications regarding applications, please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept email from For job vacancies that include stated testing requirements, also include the following:,, and** U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph. Reasonable accommodations may be provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. Please visit our Diversity link for more information
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The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.