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
The ideal candidate is someone with excellent problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills who is able to:
- work equally well independently and in a team environment
- Effectively address multiple concurrent projects
- synthesize information to solve complex problems
- apply knowledge of communications theory to RF engineering problems
- develop, diagnose, and operate survey and collection systems
- identify customer needs and validate system design
- operate in a fast-paced environment
Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following is desired:
- applying principles, methods, analysis, and applications of radio frequency theory such as radio wave propagation, antenna theory, antenna usage
- applying principles, methods, and applications of communication theory such as signal processing, decision theory, estimation theory and modulation-demodulation
- applying concepts, theories, and methods for designing, analyzing, testing, and integrating electrical and communications systems; includes aspects of energy conversion, electrical power generation, and energy transmission, control, distribution, or use
- applying principles of math, physics, electronics theory, electrical network theory, and control systems to the design, fabrication, and testing of devices that are designed to operate in the radio frequency spectrum
- hardware design; includes analog (A/D, amplifiers, power supplies, switches), board-level (board layout, circuit analysis, firmware), chip technologies (ASIC, CMOS, VHDL, VLSI), and digital (control logic, control systems, DSP, serial communications)
- programming (e.g., Assembly Language, C, C++, Fortran, JAVA, Matlab, Python, Ruby, Shell Script, Turbo C, VHDL, Visual Basic)
- computer networking (e.g., communication protocols, distributed systems, Internet of Things, real-time systems, routing and switching)
Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
On-the job training, Internal NSA courses, and external training will be made available based on the need and experience of the selectee.
Monday - Friday, with basic 8hr/day work requirements between 0600 and 1800 (flexible).
How To Apply - External
To apply for this position, please click the 'Apply' button located at the top right of this posting. After completing the application for the first time, or reviewing previously entered information, and clicking the 'Submit' button, you will receive a confirmation email. Please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept emails from (see application details).
***PLEASE NOTE: U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. Reasonable accommodations provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph.
This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.
Please note that you may be asked a series of questions depending on the position you apply for. Your responses will be used as part of the screening process of your application and will assist in determining your eligibility for the position. Be sure to elaborate on experiences in your resume. Failure to provide the required information or providing inaccurate information will result in your application not being considered for this position. Only those applicants who meet the qualifications for the position will be contacted to begin employment processing.
Please Note: Job Posting could close earlier than the closing date due to sufficient number of applicants or position no longer available. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.