Project Vahana intends to open up urban airways by developing the first certified electric, self-piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft. We envision Vahana being as a cost-comparable replacement for short-range urban transportation like cars or trains. A core premise of this project is that full automation and sense-and-avoid technology will allow us to achieve higher safety levels by minimizing human error while allowing more vehicles to share the sky. As a platform, Vahana can be as diverse as its wheeled grounded counterpart when being used for cargo delivery,  emergency services, search and rescue, or even as a tool to deploy modular infrastructure in disaster sites. There is no other project that we know of that incorporates this much automation in vertical flight. With Airbus’ long history in aircraft certification and safety, we are uniquely positioned to realize large-scale automated flight within urban environments.

Control Systems Engineer
Santa Clara, CA

As our Control Systems Engineer, you will report directly to the Lead Flight Controls and Dynamics Engineer and be responsible for designing, analyzing, and testing flight control laws for an unconventional electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. To get specific, your responsibilities will be to:

  • Design and implement flight control, navigation, guidance, estimation, and simulation software for unconventional aircraft
  • Design and analyze feedback and feedforward controllers to meet stringent vehicle performance design requirements in the face of model uncertainty
  • Lead development of in-house tools for control system design and analysis
  • Design flight tests to experimentally assess vehicle stability margins and controller performance
  • Contribute to the design of sub-scale and full-scale flight tests and analysis of flight test data to identify vehicle dynamic models, and implement updates to vehicle simulation models
  • Effectively communicate your designs, analyses, and engineering intent with the rest of the engineering team and partners
  • Assist the engineering and flight testing team as required
  • Make a lasting contribution to the social environment at A³ by participating in social events and proposing new ones, sharing your passions and hobbies, and spreading joy wherever you go

We expect you to have

  • A Master’s or Ph.D. in Control Systems, Aeronautical, Mechanical, Electrical, or Software Engineering
  • A strong mathematical background, with emphasis on linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, and linear and nonlinear analysis of dynamic systems
  • Experience with classical and modern control system design and analysis techniques
  • Familiarity with aircraft, helicopter, or multi-rotor flight dynamics and handling quality requirements
  • Hands on experience with numerical optimization
  • Familiarity with time domain and frequency domain system identification
  • At least five years of progressively ambitious experience in the area of vehicle dynamics, controls, and simulation
  • Excellent communication skills
  • An aptitude for working in small teams, with the ability to take a leading role in your area(s) of specialty and readiness to work across disciplines where appropriate.

Having one or more of the following is a plus

  • Expert level knowledge of MATLAB, Simulink, and associated workflows, especially of tools related to control system design and analysis
  • Experience with typical airborne sensors: IMUs, GPS, Air Data, Lidar, etc.
  • Experience designing and testing state estimators
  • Hands on experience with UAVs

A3 by Airbus is the Silicon Valley R&D outpost of Airbus. The mission of Airbus is to make things fly. Our job at A3 is very simple: we seek to disrupt Airbus (and the competition) before anyone else can. And in the process, we are setting out to build the future of flight.

At A3, we execute projects and foster partnerships. Projects are ambitious, risky and time-constrained undertakings that culminate in a demonstration at convincing scale—something that’s more than a mere prototype.

A3 develops technology partnerships enabling us to work within the Silicon Valley ecosystem to meet project objectives while connecting our parent company to new developments and the talent here. We also strive to partner with different elements of Airbus to serve as transition targets and sponsors of projects that emerge from A3.

By the way, you might be interested to know that we offer a killer benefits package as well as a flight training benefit, just in case you don’t already have your pilot’s license!

A3 by Airbus is an equal opportunity employer in every category. The data is incontrovertible that diversity leads to better teams, better performance, and better results. Consequently, we actively seek candidates of all genders, backgrounds, and experiences.

All job offers at A3 are contingent upon the candidate passing an export control check.