RF Design Engineer – Entry/Mid-Level

NSA National Security Agency

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Fort Meade, MD

The professionals at the National Security Agency (NSA) have one common goal: to protect our nation. The mission requires a strong offense and a steadfast defense. The offensive mission component collects, processes and disseminates intelligence information derived from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. The defensive mission component prevents adversaries from gaining access to sensitive classified national security information.

The need to maintain our core RF Engineering competency is vital to providing the technical capabilities necessary to successfully execute NSA’s mission. With the rapid evolution of RF communications, NSA requires a highly talented, diverse and technically focused workforce responsible for designing, developing and deploying systems ranging from short-term and small form-factor to long-term and large-scale; and many combinations in-between. Maintaining our competency requires world class engineers, researchers and developers who operate in teams in areas such as 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.

Given the pace of advances in telecommunications environment and myriad of state and non-state adversaries, RF Engineers at the NSA develop the technologies and capabilities to maintain our 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. At the same time, they design communications systems that minimize the adversaries’ ability to do the same against the U.S. and its allies.

RF Engineers are hired into positions directly supporting a mission element or the Radio Frequency Development Program (RFDP).

The RFDP is a three-year full-time 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 software-defined radio (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.
– Lead new advances in RF engineering and push the leading edge of RF communications technologies:
– Antenna design and beam-forming techniques
– Modulation, demodulation and signal separation techniques
– Low power, space and cooling environments (including embedded systems)
– Telecommunication standards, protocols and topologies
– Compression and other bandwidth optimization techniques
– RF interference detection and mitigation approaches
– Active RF techniques
– Low probability of detection techniques
– Service-oriented architectures

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JBNSA / An Equal Opportunity Employer

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