Vehicle Systems Division

The Vehicle Systems Division provides engineering solutions to the nation’s top challenges for space launch vehicles, spacecraft, and autonomous systems.
Vehicle Systems Division


The Vehicle Systems Division (VSD) sits at the center of the ideas and data behind current and future systems supplying innovative research and development; technical evaluations during the acquisition process; conceptual and detailed design; assembly, integration, and test; and operational support. Comprised primarily of highly-trained mechanical and aerospace engineers, VSD provides national expertise in the areas of vehicle engineering; guidance, navigation, and controls; robotics; electro-mechanical devices; embedded systems; fluid mechanics; propulsion; thermal control; orbital mechanics; mechanisms; structures; structural dynamics; and dynamic environments.

Small Satellites

Small Satellite Prototyping and Integration

Rapidly integrating new technologies will be essential to the future of space, and we are constantly exploring capabilities. We create CubeSats and small satellite prototypes along with Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulations to test in-house developed sensors and payloads with commercially available satellite buses and airborne platforms. Prototyping leads to both new systems and enhanced knowledge to support assembly, integration and test (AI&T) for critical national systems produced elsewhere. We are looking for engineers with prototyping and hardware interest to apply their skills to a variety of satellite development programs working from initial design through final integrated testing.
Orion heat shield

Thermal Control

Our thermal control engineering group performs thermal design, thermal analysis, and thermal systems engineering. Typical applications are spacecraft and other systems in vacuum where convection is not a dominant heat transfer mode. Our expertise includes the areas of thermal design and test requirements, thermal systems size-weight-and-power allocation, and review of thermal integration, testing, and verification plans and operations. We perform analysis, engineering assessments, and laboratory testing of thermal management and control hardware. Our key strengths are in engineering thermal systems involving broadly multidisciplinary engineering problems, unusually precise or large-scale analysis, or difficult design/test/analysis conditions.
Atlas V AEHF-6

End-to-End Performance Simulation

An essential function of VSD is the expert development of multi-discipline models and simulations to analyze end-to-end spacecraft and payload performance coupled with ground system processing to enhance final data products. We employ talented engineers with deep technical knowledge in spacecraft subsystems (controls, propulsion, structures, thermal, communications, etc.) and solid general engineering skills to develop analyses focused on the interactions of engineering disciplines. In addition to mechanical and aerospace engineering skills, our analysts are experts in algorithm development for modeling real-world systems with an interest in creating flexible simulation environments.
Autonomous Systems

Autonomous Control Systems

We are looking for people interested in all aspects of how to control systems. This includes how the essential hardware elements work, such as gyroscopes; accelerometers; IMUs; star trackers; reaction wheels; fast steering mirrors; CMGs; thrusters; motors; encoders; inductosyns; and GPS receivers. It also includes the skills needed to develop analytical simulations and laboratory validations to understand performance factors. Current challenges relate to extending capabilities to monitor health, coordinate in formations, apply artificial intelligence, and use advanced sensor fusion. Critical skills include neural networks, deep learning, and cross domain expertise relevant to the development of embedded systems and the associated software/Hardware-in-the-Loop simulations.
Launch Trajectory

Trajectory Design and Optimization

Our trajectory design group provides mission analysis and optimization support for spacecraft, launch vehicles, reentry vehicles, and ballistic missiles in the near-Earth, cislunar, and interplanetary domains. This support spans the entire system life-cycle, including conceptual design; technology assessment; pre-launch analysis; launch operations; on-orbit maneuvering; and end-of-life disposal. Many vehicle propulsion technologies can be considered, including chemical propulsion, electric propulsion, hybrid chemical-electric, and hypersonic glide vehicles. Each vehicle type requires its own specific set of simulation techniques and optimization strategies.
Chaotic Abstract

Vibroacoustic Analysis

Our vehicle shock and vibration group provides expertise in dynamic environments for a variety of programs in the defense and civil sectors. We specialize in test support and hardware issue disposition, standards development, design criteria, time and frequency domain signal processing, and vibroacoustic analysis. Analysis efforts involve generation of acoustic, aerodynamic, and mechanical forcing functions; modeling via FEA, SEA, BEA, semi-empirical methods, hand calculations, and computational scripts; and calculation of structural responses. We interface with multiple disciplines including structures, propulsion, fluid mechanics, and mechanisms. Support ranges from long-lead projects to rapid requests requiring quick engineering judgement and hardware intuition.

All Aerospace employees working in organizations with technical responsibilities are required to apply for and maintain at least a Secret clearance.  U.S. citizenship is required for those positions.


Equal Opportunity Commitment

The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion, genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. If you’re an individual with a disability or a disabled veteran who needs assistance using our online job search and application tools or need reasonable accommodation to complete the job application process, please contact us by phone at 310.336.5432 or by email at You can also review Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal, as well as the Pay Transparency Policy Statement