Flight Performance Manager

    • Job Tracking ID: KDRSS-333555
    • Job Location: Wallops Island, VA
    • Job Level: Management
    • Level of Education: BA/BS
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: 04/14/2022
    • Years of Experience: 8+
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Job Description

The Flight Performance Manager is responsible for the Mission Success and the Aerospace Engineering Technical Integrity of the Kratos Defense & Rocket Support Services (KDRSS) assigned Sounding Rocket systems.  Responsible to the Chief Engineer and the Program Manager for all sounding rocket operations.

The Aerospace Engineer will perform flight performance analysis of unguided and guided suborbital launch vehicles. Applicant would be responsible for analyzing all elements of launch vehicle flight performance including configuration development, aerodynamics, mass properties, propulsion, trajectory simulation, dispersion estimates, launch parameters and in-flight performance.


  • Assigns resources; defines, tracks, and monitors schedules; directs the Flight Performance / Aerospace Engineers; and performs as a Senior Aerospace Engineer as necessary.
  • Trains and mentors junior Flight Performance / Aerospace Engineers, as necessary.
  • Analyze launch vehicle configurations and perform trade studies to support mission development.
  • Perform aerodynamic analysis to determine aerodynamic force and moment coefficients.
  • Manage and report overall vehicle mass properties.
  • Create, shape and analyze ballistic trajectory simulations.
  • Perform Monte Carlo dispersion analysis for guided and unguided launch vehicles.
  • Generate and examine predicted vehicle in-flight structural and heating loads.  
  • Create and manage flight safety data reports for Launch Range Safety elements. 
  • Provide ballasting recommendations and wind-weighting support for launch operations.
  • Post-flight analysis of vehicle performance.
  • Performs technical planning; system integration; verification and validation; and cost, risk, supportability, and effectiveness analyzes for total systems.
  • Ensures the logical and systematic conversion of customer or product requirements into total systems solutions that acknowledge technical constraints.
  • Supports periodic program and mission IPTs, as required.
  • Supports Anomaly Investigation Boards, as required.
  • Performs functional and timeline analysis, conducts detailed trade studies, allocates requirements, and conducts interface definition studies to evaluate compliance of flight performance hardware & software specifications with customer requirements.
  • Performs planning, modeling, validation, engineering, and verification activities.
  • Analyzes effectiveness/efficiency of NASA program procedures and processes; develops/ recommends improvements.
  • Prepares presentations, reports, research, and other contract deliverables.
  • Participates in selected programs, events, and meetings involving staff, Government customers, and visitors.
  • Works with the Safety and Mission Assurance Manager & Quality Engineer to incorporate the application of the appropriate level of ISO 9000 process improvement.

Other Job Functions

  • Support integration of thrust vector control (TVC) guidance, and attitude control system (ACS) software into trajectory simulation and Monte Carlo dispersion models.
  • Data analysis related to flight performance and Monte Carlo trajectory simulations.
  • Other duties may be assigned


  • Responsible for leading a team of Flight Performance / Aerospace Engineers.
  • Achieves results through leading and mentoring Flight Performance / Aerospace Engineers.


This position is contingent upon contract award which is expected early 2022.

Questions and correspondence related to this opportunity should be directed to: kdrssrecruiting@kratosdefense.com



Experience and Skills


  • Flight Performance / Aerospace Engineering Management experience in the Sounding Rocket or Ballistic Missile industry.
  • Strong technical knowledge of assigned Sounding Rocket systems and related support systems.
  • Sound knowledge of aerodynamic stability and control.
  • Knowledge of NASA & military operations.
  • Excellent communication and relationship skills with Senior Leadership, Program Management, Customers and engineering team members.
  • Proficiency with MS Office products, including MS Project for Integrated Master Schedule development and review.
  • Knowledge of compliance elements for ISO, EVMS and Export regulations.
  • Knowledge of finance, accounting and earned value management practices and procedures.
  • Strong understanding and experience with engineering fundamentals.
  • Strong presentation preparation and delivery skills with audiences such as Subcontractors, Prime and Government.
  • Strong technical writing skills to communicate internally or externally.
  • Demonstrated passion for customer satisfaction.
  • Ability to maintain sensitive and confidential information as required by government standards.
  • Ability to interact effectively with peers and supervisors.
  • Ability to interact appropriately with the public when necessary.
  • Ability to adhere to workplace rules.
  • Ability to effectively communicate professionally in writing or verbally with all levels of personnel.
  • Flexibility to handle changing requirements and prioritize in a dynamic environment.

Additional Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated ability to work cross-functionally to meet department and company goals and requirements for the assigned Sounding Rocket system.
  • Knowledge of KDRSS operations and procedures preferred.
  • Previous experience working with MATLAB software preferred.
  • May require up to 25% travel to support technical meetings, design reviews, other reviews & meetings and launch operations.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and eight (8) years of professional experience and three (3) years of management experience.
  • May be required to obtain and maintain a U.S. security clearance at the appropriate level (requires U.S. Citizenship).


  • Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and ten (10) years of professional experience including eight (8) years in a position with responsibility for Aerospace engineering within the Sounding Rocket or Ballistic Missile industries.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and fifteen (15) years of professional experience including ten (10) years in a management position with responsibility for Sounding Rocket or Ballistic Missile experience.
  • Knowledge of specific Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) operations a plus.
  • Experience with NASA or military rocket programs involving space domain topics.
  • Ability to qualify as an Flight Performance / Aerospace Engineer.
  • May be required to obtain and maintain a U.S. security clearance at the appropriate level (requires U.S. Citizenship).


  • Office and/or manufacturing  environment
  • May work extended hours or weekends to to complete tasks and meet schedule
  • May work in manufacturing and/or field environments with potential exposure to uncontrolled climate conditions and potential exposure to noise, dust and hazardous chemicals
  • Ability to lift up to twenty-five (25) pounds
  • Ability to perform repetitive motion (computer work, phones)
  • Ability to stand and sit for long period of time

Job Benefits

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Tax Savings Accounts (HSA / FSA)
  • Life Insurance
  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • 401k
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  • PTO
  • Education Assistance Program
  • Paid Holidays
Kratos Defense is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. EOE, Minorities, Females, Vet, Disabled, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or any other protected class.
All qualified job seekers are encouraged to apply. Kratos Defense is committed to America's veterans by providing opportunities for them to continue contributing after service to our nation. We also work to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.
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