EROS Calibration and Validation Center of Excellence (ECCOE) Chief Systems Engineer - Military veterans preferred

Kellogg Brown & Root (


  full-time   employee

Sioux Falls
South Dakota
United States


EROS Calibration and Validation Center of Excellence (ECCOE) Chief Systems Engineer

KBR is looking for an Engineer/Scientist for a position in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. KBR, headquartered in Houston Texas, is the primary Technical Services and Support Contractor (TSSC) to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for performing work at the Earth Resources Observation and Science ( EROS ) Center ( Sioux Falls, SD ). The multidisciplinary staff, in partnership with NASA, uses their unique expertise in remote sensing-based science and technologies to carry out research, data acquisition, information access and management and archive preservation to provide satellite ground imagery data to users and science organizations around the world. This effort represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data with over four decades of imagery.

KBR is helping our customer to build and staff a sensor Calibration and Validation Center of Excellence (ECCOE) for remotely sensed data quality. This work will be located at the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, SD. Building on over 47 years of operating the Landsat series of satellites, the EROS Calibration and Validation Center of Excellence (ECCOE) will work with all types of land remote sensing sensors and platforms, bringing the expertise of our team to the challenges of maintaining the superb calibration of the satellites and sensors operated by our customer as well as other sensors nationally and internationally. The team will work to assess the characteristics and utility of data from multiple satellites and airborne platforms and work to develop methods and tools that enhance the interoperability of data from a wide variety of sources. The remote sensing world is growing rapidly around the world. Come be part of this exceptional team working with all areas of the remote sensing community!

Job Description:

The ECCOE Chief System Engineer is a specialized position within the TSSC who will provide technical leadership, direction, and mentoring of small teams of calibration and validation and data assurance analysts who provide sensor characterization, calibration, and validation expertise for the Landsat satellite systems as well as other remote sensing systems. The Landsat series of satellites includes the decommissioned Landsat 1-5, currently active Landsat 7 and 8, the in-development Landsat 9, and future missions.

The ECCOE Chief System Engineer is a senior technical leadership position that will work directly with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Chief Project Engineers, NASA and other agency partners to provide strategic technical direction and oversight to the analysis, design, development, and/or characterization of the current and next generation of earth observing satellite systems and their supporting ground systems and accuracy of their data products. Specific responsibilities will include leading and performing trade studies; requirement development, architecture development, supporting customer technical discussions and presenting concepts/results. Additional responsibilities will include technical interchange meetings, cross-agency coordination and communication, management presentations, requirements management, risk management and Cal/Val technical leadership across the overall USGS Landsat Ground System and science data processing approaches.

The ECCOE Chief System Engineer also provides expert level technical leadership and interface to the USGS/NASA Engineering teams in support of mission acquisition planning for the next generation of Landsat class mission sensors/data acquisition system(s) in support of the NASA/USGS Sustainable Land Imaging (SLI) Program including conceptual and development approaches for the planned LandsatNext system which is expected to significantly enhance the current Landsat instrument approaches and cross-calibration techniques as new commercial and/or international capabilities mature and evolve.

Areas of sensor characterization, geometric and radiometric calibration and validation, which the successful candidate may be involved, include detector response characterization, artifact correction, noise removal, radiative transfer modeling, cross-calibration with other sensors (spaceborne, airborne, and terrestrial), geometric/geodetic corrections and accuracy, radiance and reflectance product validation of higher level science products, etc.


  • Responsible for sensor calibration and validation technical and programmatic aspects of mission/ground system integration for current and future planned USGS missions
  • Work closely with USGS, NASA and mission-level partners to understand and analyze requirements for systems; design solutions to integrate and deliver these capabilities into mission systems
  • Provide systems engineering expertise and leadership to a complex, dynamic, ground system team that develops, integrates, and fields critical Ground System Mission Applications
  • Provide technical oversight and leadership for calibration and validation engineering and programmatic activities at the Ground System level that supports the overall mission level calibration and validation activities
  • Ensure that Landsat data are continually monitored, measured, and calibrated.
  • Develop and refine methods for the characterization and improvement of data in the EROS archives.
  • Provide quality assurance for Analysis Ready Data.
  • Characterize the strengths and weaknesses of various space-borne and airborne sensors.
  • Analyze quality of remotely sensed data.
  • Report on the quality/status of Landsat and other data as required, including at regular meetings with Landsat Project Management as well as peer-reviewed publication.
  • Communicate with outside agencies, universities, and companies, including international entities
  • Provide mentoring for technical staff on system engineering and programmatic activities; assist technical manager in the development of the next generation of Calibration and Validation engineers
  • Supports development of Mission level calibration system(s) concepts and interface definitions including all required documentation
  • Coordinate technical resources to support analyses, document reviews, engineering change reviews, technical meetings, data reviews, readiness reviews and operations in multiple disciplines
  • Supports the development and conduct of mission operations for the government customer and international cooperators
  • Develop technical briefings, proposals, and other program description documentation and delivering presentations to senior level management at the USGS levels, NASA, and other program partners
  • Responsible for development of calibration and validation requirements and updating and controlling these requirements with the DOORS tool or designated software system throughout the mission development phases
  • Ensure performance measures are met through adequate verification and validation testing, including assessments of instrument/sensor vendor teams testing and on-going sensor validation throughout the active life of the sensor
  • Attend and report on technical meetings addressing Calibration and Validation requirements, ground operations, and overall mission success

Required Skills :

  • Demonstrated experience with Optical Remote Sensing Satellite and/or Ground Systems; knowledge preferred on, but not limited to; Earth Observing Systems
  • Knowledge of radiometric calibration of the electromagnetic spectrum, radiative transfer, optics, detector operability, orbital mechanics, geodesy, or photogrammetry
  • Knowledge of signal processing, algorithm development, statistical analysis, database manipulation
  • Skill in Matlab, IDL, Python, C, or C++ or related capabilities
  • Demonstrated experience with system engineering tools and processes, MS Office products, hardware/software experience in remote sensing or related subsystems/applications
  • Demonstrated leadership, initiative, mentoring, dependability, and interpersonal skills w/ability to coordinate with large teams of senior level engineers of multiple disciplines in a team of teams environment
  • Excellent planning and organization skills at a strategic or mission level are required with ability to handle complex multitask environments
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including effective questioning, listening, and presentation skills
  • Must have demonstrated capability to interface effectively with government and contractor personnel at technical and management levels

Education : Bachelor of Science degree (Master’s degree desired) in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Remote

Sensing, or other Satellite Systems field of study.

Experience : Minimum of 10 years related experience or equivalent education experience in geometric and/or radiometric

validation of remote sensing systems

Special Requirements:

  • Some travel required (2-4 times per year)
  • The candidate must be able to obtain and maintain a national agency check and background investigation after hire to obtain a badge for facility access and user accounts
  • Performing duties onsite at USGS EROS facility, Sioux Falls, SD is preferred
  • US Citizenship or permanent residence (green card) is required

This position will be posted to the career opportunities listing on the KBR website ( www. ( ). This position may be filled by a KBR teammate on the TSSC Contract. Please apply on line.

KBR is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/m/f/disabled/veteran.

KBR is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, veteran status, genetic information, union status and/or beliefs, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

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KBR is proud to work with customers across the globe to provide technology, value-added services, and long- term operations and maintenance services to ensure consistent delivery with predictable results. At KBR, We Deliver.

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