Autonomy Engineer III

Worker Type


Job Description

For over 50 years, AeroVironment has been a leader in advanced technologies and diverse innovations that have redefined how the world drives, flies, and connects.

We created MacCready Works Advanced Solutions, named for our founder, Dr. Paul B. MacCready, Jr., to ensure that creativity and long-term thinking remain at the core of our culture. With a focus on the future, this group of select, visionary scientists and engineers partner with our customers to explore breakthrough technologies that open new, more powerful ways to tackle difficult challenges. Together, they research and develop advanced technologies in robotics, sensors, software analytics and connectivity to identify innovative solutions that push beyond the current applications. These revenue-generating projects significantly contribute to the growth of the company and stretch our imaginations to spawn new inventions.

Once conceptualized, we can apply these new technologies to other projects, keeping us and our customers at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation. We are currently working on tomorrow's solutions by creating highly autonomous, mission-centered products that operate jointly across multiple domains, and position our customers at the leading edge of interconnected systems.

We are here to tackle the impossible…without hesitation.


The Autonomy Robotics Engineer III has the opportunity to work with a highly collaborative team of engineers as they add robust autonomous execution to AeroVironment's diverse portfolio of unmanned aerial vehicles. Robust autonomous execution is crucial to AV's continued success in the UAS marketplace. As an Autonomy & Robotics engineer, one builds the algorithms and tools necessary to achieve this.

Position Responsibilities

  • Focuses on delivering well architected, functionally complete, and rigorously tested research products.

  • Contributes in core technology including:

  • Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) including characterization of plant dynamics

  • State estimation

  • Target detection, classification, localization, and tracking (DCLT)

  • Embedded systems architecture, with emphasis on video processing chains

  • Sensor characterization and integration – EO, Camera, Radar, Acoustic, and/or Lidar

  • UI/UX design for mobile operator platforms

  • Modeling and simulation

  • Software development and testing

  • Mentors junior employees, as this provides personal fulfillment and growth for the involved parties, as well as providing cultural benefit for the company as a whole

  • Works on problems of diverse scope where analysis of data requires evaluation of identifiable factors

  • As an experienced professional and having full understanding of this area of specialization, one resolves a wide range of issues in creative and effective ways.

  • Other duties as assigned.

  • Basic Qualifications (Required Skills & Experience)

  • Bachelor's degree in Degree in Mathematics, Computer Science/Engineering or related field is required or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience

  • Minimum of 5 - 8 years' relevant engineering experience

  • Experienced implementing state-of-the-art (SOTA) algorithms on real hardware. Bonus: implementation on low size, weight, and power (SWAP) devices

  • Demonstrated ability to get all of the pieces of a complex system functioning together towards a common purpose; e.g. strong system design and test background

  • Solid software engineering skills with foci on modularity, portability, and testability

  • Experienced with C/C++ required. Modern standards (11, 14, 17+) preferred

  • Deep familiarity with one or more of the following technology areas (bonus points for UAS applications):

  • Path planning and trajectory generation

  • Multi-vehicle coordination

  • Uncertainty quantification/estimation

  • Computer vision: scene segmentation, feature extraction, template matching, image descriptors, object detection and localization

  • Advanced control methodologies: robust adaptive control, optimal control with dynamic programming, model predictive control (MPC)

  • Experimental design and interpretation of results

  • Some intrastate travel and other travel within the Continental U.S. may be required (up to 30%)

  • Other Qualifications & Desired Competencies

  • MS or PhD in related field is highly preferred

  • Experienced with Matlab and/or Python preferred

  • Proficiency with office software and computer-based productivity tools

  • Demonstrates strong verbal and written communication skills

  • Demonstrates effective problem-solving, analytical, interpersonal and leadership skills

  • Is a team player and collaborates effectively

  • Able to excel in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment, where small teams share a broad variety of duties

  • Displays strong initiative and drive to accomplish goals and meet company objectives

  • Takes ownership and responsibility for current and past work products

  • Is committed to learning from mistakes and driven to improve and enhance performance of oneself, others, and the company

  • Physical Demands

  • Ability to work in an office and R&D environment (constant)

  • Required to sit and stand for long periods; talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard (Frequent)

  • The salary range for this role is:

    $140,804 - $211,206

    AeroVironment considers several factors when extending an offer, including but not limited to, the location, the role and associated responsibilities, a candidate's work experience, education/training, and key skills.

    ITAR Requirement:

    This position requires access to information that is subject to compliance with the International Traffic Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and/or the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). In order to comply with the requirements of the ITAR and/or the EAR, applicants will be asked to provide specific documentation to verify U.S. person status under the ITAR and the EAR. A “U.S. person” according to their definition is a U.S. citizen, U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder), or protected individual such as a refugee, or asylee. See 22 CFR § 120.15. Some positions will require current U.S. Citizenship due to contract requirements.

    Benefits : AV offers an excellent benefits package including medical, dental vision, 401K with company matching, a 9/80 work schedule and a paid holiday shutdown. For more information about our company benefit offerings please visit: https:// www.

    We also encourage you to review our company website at https:// www. to learn more about us.

    Principals only need apply. NO agencies please.

    Who We Are

    Based in California, AeroVironment (AVAV) is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical missile systems. Founded in 1971 by celebrated physicist and engineer, Dr. Paul MacCready, we've been at the leading edge of technical innovation for more than 45 years. Be a part of the team that developed the world's most widely used military drones and created the first submarine-launched reconnaissance drone, and has seven innovative vehicles that are part of the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection in Washington, DC.

    Join us today in developing the next generation of small UAS and tactical missile systems that will deliver more actionable intelligence to our customers so they can proceed with certainty – and succeed.

    What We Do

    Building on a history of technological innovation, AeroVironment designs, develops, produces, and supports an advanced portfolio of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical missile systems. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company's hand-launched UAS to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.

    AeroVironment Incorporated is an equal opportunity employer, M/F/D/V and works in compliance with both federal and state laws. We are committed to the concept regarding Equal Employment opportunity. Qualified candidates will be considered for employment regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, medical condition nor disability, genetics, veteran and all others that may apply.


    U.S. Citizenship required

    Job details


    Autonomy Engineer III




    United States


    June 11, 2024

    Application deadline

    August 31, 2023

    Job type




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