Autonomous Systems Operation Engineer (Software)

Monterey Bay Aquariam Research Institute

Monterey Bay Aquariam Research Institute

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2022

The Division of Marine Operations manages and operates ocean-going platforms for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, including two ROV-equipped ships, small boats, moorings and a variety of submerged and surface-bound autonomous vehicles. Our work enables research in chemical, physical, and biological oceanography. The contributions of the incumbents will have a lasting impact on the ongoing mission of MBARI’s ocean research program, facilitating discoveries at the edge of technology and human exploration. If you have the interest and experience to contribute to our work, then we would be excited to have you join our team.

Founded in 1987 by the late David Packard, MBARI is a non-profit, private oceanographic research institute. Located in Moss Landing, California, near the heart of the Monterey Bay, this unique location provides direct access to the deep waters of the Monterey Canyon. Our marine operations division supports two ocean-going vessels, a smaller day boat, and a wide variety of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). MBARI is near Monterey and Santa Cruz, as well as the Big Sur coast.

This particular position ensures that MBARI’s Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (AUVs) and Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs) operate in a reliable and effective manner. The incumbent assists in design, development, testing, and operation of these vehicles.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

The incumbent will work on various tasks supporting the development and maintenance of MBARI’s fleet of autonomous underwater and surface vehicles including Dorado-class deep water AUVs, Tethys-class Long Range AUVs, and Liquid Robotics Wave Gliders. These tasks involve creation of software drivers for scientific instruments, development of vehicle flight and support code as well as operating and improving a large array of top-side software tools for preparing and running vehicles, data processing as well as acoustic undersea tracking and communications. Additional focus is on writing microcontroller firmware for a vast range of use cases (battery management, servo control, environmental monitoring, etc.).

The incumbent will also assist in the deployment of vehicles at sea locally in Monterey Bay and during expeditions all over the globe. Responsibilities during deployments include mission planning, vehicle checkouts, battery management and data offload.

The position requires the willingness and ability to go to sea and work offshore for up to 6 weeks at a time.

Required qualifications:

  • Proficiency in 2 different programming languages (at least one object oriented)
  • Ability to work with Linux-based computers using text terminal environments
  • Willingness to acquire deep knowledge of multiple complex software systems
  • Excellent interpersonal, critical thinking, and communication skills
  • Can work effectively independently and on teams

Desired qualifications:

  • Proficiency in C/C++, experience in Python, Matlab
  • Knowledge in embedded systems (microcontrollers, single-board computers), Ethernet, RS232, SPI, I2C, TCP/IP
  • Basic electrical engineering skills (reading and drawing schematics, troubleshooting)
  • Experience with Linux kernel code