Saildrone – Sensor Technician

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About Us

Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called Saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We are working with governments, civic agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas – be it in mapping out the ocean floor, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, counting biomass to establish fishing quotas, or detecting and stopping illegal fishing and trafficking. We believe that better inputs in planetary models in turn yield better outputs and that the new insights gained in weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change will have tremendous impact on humanity. We are based in Alameda, CA and are backed by Social Capital, The Capricorn Investment Group, Lux Capital, Horizons Venture and The Schmidt Family Foundation.

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

The Role

The Sensor Technician plays a key role supporting Saildrone’s mission preparation, successful mission execution and post-mission completion.

Mission Preparation

  • Configure and ensure quality control of sensors via our Assembly Station or Golden Drone Apps.
  • Manage full life-cycle (pre-install, mission, post-mission) Sensors (both Saildrone’s and Customer-provided including CO2 and Radiometers).
  • Monitor and action on alerts during readiness processing.
  • Manage Sonar equipment including technical administration, data management, customer communications for calibrations (including hands-on calibration of sonars at HQ and/or deployment location)
  • WBT Mini, DT800, E20
  • Pre-mission customer communications for configuration requests and mission plans.
  • Interface with Customers at mission calls and meetings to answer questions
  • Uploading configuration (“mission plans”) to sensors
  • Spatula of raw data after sea trial and after missions
  • Offload and Analyze data (Sea Trials and Missions) to validate readiness and troubleshooting in partnership with our engineering team
  • Assist with staging drones in lot, in water, during sea trials

On Mission

  • Monitoring sensor data quality and sensor functionality during missions
  • Met/Oc package (Wind, ATRH, CTD, Fluoro, .5m temp, etc. + unique sensors – CO2, Radiometers)
  • Data Management – ADCP, Sonar data, Argus, Radar
  • Troubleshooting, communicating with Mission Management & Engineering, escalating sensor malfunctions
  • Customer communication during service outages
  • Partner with Business Development, Legal and VP Ops for communication and strategy of critical service outages

Post Mission

  • Sending customer post calibration certificates
  • Off boarding isolated sensor data

Required Skills

  • Significant experience with Sensor Equipment (as described above)
  • Technical/Analytical mindset
  • Highly detailed/organized
  • Linux command line usage

Desired Skills

  • Basic computer programming ability or interest, including Python programming/scripting
  • Familiarity with serial communication

Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered.  Our waterfront office offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar used to film ‘The Matrix’.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.
  • Active sailing classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!  (once COVID safety allows)
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced paternity / maternity programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, discounted gym, life insurance, 401k plan

Catch up on the latest news about us:

Saildrone is an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce.

 Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.