Research Associate (One Year Term) - Guidance, Navigation and Control

Date Posted: 01/11/2022
Req ID: 22134
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
Department: Institute for Aerospace Studies
Campus: University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies




The Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) is a world-leading satellite provider that offers a complete suite of nano-, micro-, and small satellites – including high-performance, low-cost CubeSats – that satisfy the needs of a broad range of mission types from 3 to 500 kilograms. Dating from 1998, SFL’s heritage of on-orbit successes includes over 70 satellites and distinct missions related to Earth observation, atmospheric monitoring, ship tracking, communication, radio frequency (RF) geolocation, technology demonstration, space astronomy, solar physics, space plasma, and other scientific research.


The incumbent will have a leading role in the design, development or modification of new or existing spacecraft attitude and formation control systems, including the analysis, design, prototyping, assembly, integration and testing of all the necessary components.


The Research Associate – Limited Term (Guidance, Navigation and Control) position will:


  • Define attitude and/or formation determination, control requirements and architectures.
  • Identify off the shelf components to support attitude and/or formation determination and control architectures.
  • Develop new components or modify existing component designs, including actuators, sensors and ground support equipment.
  • Develop mathematical models of attitude and/or formation determination and control systems, including modeling in Matlab/Simulink, performing detailed simulations in discrete time, using the simulations to tune controllers and estimators.
  • Develop attitude and/or formation estimators and controllers based on established approaches to control design.
  • Assemble, integrate and test attitude and/or formation determination and control systems, from the unit to subsystem to system level.
  • Support on-orbit commissioning and operations of attitude and/or formation determination and control systems.
  • Select, define, acquire, install and/or identify facilities to support attitude and/or formation control development and testing. This includes developing or acquiring any necessary software.
  • Interacting and communicating with consultants that are supporting attitude and/or determination and control system development.  This includes coordinating analyses, prototyping and testing activities.
  • Performing trade analyses on alternate spacecraft configurations.
  • Developing and maintaining system budgets for attitude and/or formation control systems. Advising on design feasibility and cost
  • Collaborate with other engineers to specify requirements on, and obtain requirements from other spacecraft subsystems that are affected by the attitude and/or formation control designs.
  • Work with SFL consultants to obtain comments and review of analysis and design efforts, component selection and acquisition, and assembly and testing procedures.
  • Research new technologies and new applications for developing spacecraft attitude and formation control systems.
  • Publish results through conferences and journal papers.
  • Assist with the supervision of graduate students doing research.






  • PhD or equivalent combination of education and experience in Aerospace or Electrical Engineering with specialization in attitude control.




  • 8 to 10 years of industrial or post-graduate experience in the relevant technical field.
  • Experience in the space industry is an asset.




  • Understanding of advanced dynamics, space vehicle dynamics.
  • Understanding of orbital dynamics.
  • Ability to formulate dynamical models and equations.
  • Understanding of control systems, observers (Kalman filters), and both classical and state space control law formulations.
  • Ability to use Matlab/Simulink for control system simulation.
  • Familiarity with and ability to test space system sensors and actuators.
  • Familiarity with GPS receivers.
  • Some knowledge of formation control is an asset.
  • Programming skills:  C, C++


Note: This is a one-year term position with the possibility of extension. Posting will remain open until filled.


Closing Date: 06/30/2022,11:59PM ET
Employee Group: Research Associate 
Appointment Type: Grant - Term 
Schedule: Full-Time
Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone: R01 -- Research Associates (Limited Term): $46,819 - $87,785
Job Category: Engineering / Technical

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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