Lead Navigation Engineer – Cape Town, South Africa

Job Type: Engineering
Job Location: South Africa

About Dove: 

Dove Air’s mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. We believe that where you live should never dictate whether you live. We are at the forefront of a logistics revolution, using autonomous aircraft to deliver just-in-time, lifesaving medical supplies at a national scale in several countries and expanding around the world. Are you interested in building a system that 500 million people will depend on with their lives? Ready to change the world?

About the Role:

As Navigation Lead you will be driving the development of Dove Air’s navigation system. You are passionate about the art of navigation and its long history in aviation. You can speak authoritatively on topics such as inertial sensors, pressure sensors, GNSS, cameras, as well as on the various ways to fuse their information. You have learned the hard way about the challenges of integrating these sensors on aircraft and deploying them into the real world. You are an effective team leader with a track record of delivering innovative navigation products on schedule. You thrive on ambiguity and are comfortable charting roadmaps even when the waters ahead of you have never been traveled.

The navigation system you build will safely fly thousands of autonomous aircraft every day around people, buildings, and terrain, with or without GNSS, day or night, rain or shine. Developing and fielding this kind of navigation system for a large-scale fleet of autonomous aircraft is a challenge that you find both humbling and exhilarating—you are not alone, we do too! You enjoy developing systems from concept through production, and you have an eye for crafting practical solutions that run reliably on real-world systems. You will work in a multidisciplinary environment with direct access to our software, electrical, mechanical, planning guidance and control, and embedded software engineers. Our solutions run on real-time embedded systems, and familiarity with flight control and simulation is a plus.

What you’ll do:

  • Lead the development of the navigation system used onboard Dove Air aircraft
  • Serve as the subject matter expert for navigation, sensor selection, and sensor fusion
  • Drive the hardware and software technical roadmap for the navigation system
  • Conduct trade studies for sensor and algorithm selection
  • Develop filtering solutions (Kalman Filters and other linear and non-linear filters) to fuse information from a variety of sensors (IMU, GPS, magnetometer, static/differential pressure, cameras, etc.)
  • Have ownership of the navigation system throughout the entire life-cycle: concept, design, implementation, lab and flight testing and evaluation, fielding, and support
  • Lead the team’s processes, including: requirements and design documentation, test-plan generation and execution, peer design and code reviews, and process feedback and improvements
  • Embody Dove Air’s safety culture in your technical work and in your everyday interactions

What you’ll need:

  • PhD degree or equivalent practical experience in Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field
  • 10 years of experience working on multi-sensor fusion navigation systems for aerospace systems, including GPS/INS integration
  • Expertise in Kalman Filtering and other estimation methods
  • Expertise in inertial sensors, pressure sensors, cameras, and GNSS
  • Expertise in integrating these sensors onboard aircraft and flying them in the real world


  • 10 years of industry experience working with the skills listed as minimum qualifications
  • Strong MATLAB and C++ implementation experience on safety-critical real-time systems
  • Experience in bringing a navigation solution to certification by an aviation regulatory agency
  • UAV or other aerospace experience, civilian or military, professional or hobby
  • Experience in Computer Vision and Visual-Inertial Odometry
  • Experience with deep learning for image segmentation, classification, and/or object detection
  • Experience in estimation, dynamics, controls, and/or simulation

We value diversity at Dove Air and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!

Dove Air is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, favorite ice cream flavor, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws or our own sensibilities.

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