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Mission Manager

Mission Management | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

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 drug trafficking.  We are a talented, collaborative team working at the forefront of exciting new ventures in the autonomous vehicle space, and we believe that the insights gained from our drones will have a 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.

Job Description

We are seeking a Mission Manager operating within our Operations/Mission Control team.  Mission Managers control, monitor, pilot and direct drone operations in collaboration with Saildrone customers.  During missions, data is streamed in real time to Saildrone Mission Control via sensors on-board the vehicles. 


  • Drone management

    • Oversee and control global drone operations, including drone piloting

    • Passage planning routes that are safe, efficient and meet the mission requirements

    • Assist customers with routing suggestions for optimizing mission outcomes

    • Data Monitoring: During missions, data and drone telemetry is streamed in real time to Saildrone Mission Control. Mission control operators monitor the health of the drone fleet, and will develop a deep understanding of the payload sensors and their capabilities and calibrations.

  • Customer management
    • Interpret customer requirements in partnership with sales team to assess mission feasibility.
    • Liaise with production & sensor management to facilitate mission readiness.
    • Provide mission status updates on the Saildrone customer facing mission portal
    • Manage on-mission customer communications, referring technical questions to Saildrone internal subject-matter-experts.
  • Authorities Liaison
    • Act as Saildrone POC for USCG & Vessel Traffic communications
    • Deliver notices to Mariners for relevant missions
    • Monitor and report on Reserves and Sanctuaries requiring special access permissions.

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Deep understanding of maritime operations, including navigation, COLREGS and safety procedures

  • Experience within Command and Control Center environments

  • Detail-oriented with a disciplined approach to communications, processes, and projects

  • Possess excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Able to interact with multiple audiences, including governmental agency leadership, senior executives and engineers.

  • Interest and passion for new technology applications for Maritime Awareness and Homeland Security.

Desired Experience

  • Significant time on ships, standing on-bridge watches

  • Experience in leading a team, in a maritime environment.

  • Demonstrated record of success translating and prioritizing mission needs into actionable outcomes.

  • Active or prior Security clearance is a plus

  • Experience on sailboats is a plus


This position is located 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. 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

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing post series-B startup 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.

You can read what the press says about us:

Washington Post: Four autonomous vessels sailed the Arctic to more precisely map its seafloor(Oct 2020)

USNI: Coast Guard Begins At-Sea Testing of Unmanned Surface Vehicles to Tackle Illegal Fishing, Crime (Oct 2020)

NOAA: Autonomous Vessel Operations in the Arctic: Lessons Learned (Oct 2020

Forbes: Five Ways Saildrone’s ‘Satellites Of The Seas’ Could Transform Mauritius Oil Spill Response (Sept 2020)

Or watch some of our videos: Bloomberg:  The Robots Roaming the High Seas

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.