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OPIR Engineer

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Job ID: 2216803
Location: AURORA, CO, United States
Date Posted: Feb 13, 2023
Category: Engineering and Sciences
Subcategory: Systems Engineer
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day Job
Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time
Minimum Clearance Required: TS/SCI with Poly
Clearance Level Must Be Able to Obtain: TS/SCI with Poly
Potential for Remote Work: No Remote
Benefits: Click here

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Job Description


SAIC is seeking an Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Engineer to join the National Security and Space Sector (NSS). You would work on a joint Intelligence Community (IC) and Department of Defense (DoD) crown jewel program providing highly specialized space/counter-space engineering, scientific, and analytical services from Aurora, Colorado. We support the Nation’s leading edge IC and DoD space programs and offer compelling, deep-technical work that has direct influence and impact on program development and operations. Our team has Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) across a variety of disciplines, including physics, math, RF, optics, space acquisition and operations, and intelligence collection and analysis.

This OPIR Engineer will work in a collaborative team-focused environment of U.S. Government civilians and contractors solving applied technical problems and developing usable solutions for multiple space-related capabilities and threats. The ideal candidate will:

  • Have the ability to conceptualize, synthesize, analyze, and assess OPIR mission systems, applications, and effects, including characteristics, performance, and concepts of operations (CONOPS)
  • Have considerable experience and understanding of OPIR phenomenology, data processing and data exploitation capabilities
  • Be motivated by problem solving and development of the range of solutions, over system development

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Conducting specialized technical studies related to OPIR systems, technologies and effects to provide assessments and create actionable solutions for program managers or satellite owner/operators;
  • Contributing to CONOPs development and recommendations for missions with OPIR considerations;
  • Providing ongoing electro-optical technical consultation to programs in the areas of earth remote sensing OPIR missile warning and tracking;
  • Developing and maintaining in-depth knowledge of U.S. national security space capabilities, Foreign space capabilities, and counter-space threats;
  • Participating in complex physics-based modeling, simulation and analysis, and conducting technical trades;
  • Participating and representing the customer in various Government and contractor meetings and attend contractor programmatic and technical reviews (e.g. PMR, PDR, CDR, etc.) to provide technical recommendations and risk assessments;
  • Frequently interacting with program managers, SETAs, FFRDCs and external stakeholders;
  • Developing productive relationships with the Program Office, Prime, and Subcontract counterparts, functional IC or DoD counterparts, and other SMEs;


Required Skills:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Optical Engineering, Physics or Electrical Engineering and 14 or more years (12 or more with a Masters) of direct experience with OPIR systems
  • Proven experience in OPIR engineering or analytic problem-solving relating to the performance of passive remote sensing electro-optical visible and infrared sensors, especially OPIR systems, and including topics such as: radiometry, radiative transfer modeling, target detection, sensor performance metrics, earth-background infrared signatures, and visible and infrared backgrounds
  • Active TS/SCI Clearance with Special Access eligibility and consent to a Counter Intelligence (CI) polygraph. US Citizenship is required
  • Fluent in specialized software tools or programming languages relevant for space remote sensing systems, such as MATLAB, Python, C++, or Fortran
  • Demonstrated record of effective individual and group work behaviors, with abilities to proactively initiate and operate in dynamic and incompletely defined environments
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills with experience conveying technical concepts, results, and summaries to internal customers, external customers, and stakeholders of diverse technical backgrounds

Strongly Desired Skills:

  • Master’s or Doctorate Degree in Optical Engineering, Physics, or Electrical Engineering
  • Familiarity with OPIR hard targets and threats
  • Experience in space system acquisition or space technology development
  • Extensive knowledge of current and known future OPIR sensors including Space Based Infrared System (SBIR) GEO, Defense Support Program (DSP), and Next Gen GEO
  • Experience with project or task technical leadership

Target salary range: $195,001 - $205,000. The estimate displayed represents the typical salary range for this position based on experience and other factors.

Covid Policy: SAIC does not require COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters. Customer site vaccination requirements must be followed when work is performed at a customer site.


SAIC® is a premier Fortune 500® technology integrator driving our nation's technology transformation. Our robust portfolio of offerings across the defense, space, civilian, and intelligence markets includes secure high-end solutions in engineering, digital, artificial intelligence, and mission solutions. Using our expertise and understanding of existing and emerging technologies, we integrate the best components from our own portfolio and our partner ecosystem to deliver innovative, effective, and efficient solutions that are critical to achieving our customers' missions.

We are approximately 26,000 strong; driven by mission, united by purpose, and inspired by opportunities. SAIC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, which is core to our values and important to attract and retain exceptional talent. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, SAIC has annual revenues of approximately $7.4 billion. For more information, visit For ongoing news, please visit our newsroom.

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