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Ocean Sensor Technician

Hardware Engineering | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Saildrone

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 busy building the world's largest high-resolution ocean datasets, working with governments and private companies around the globe. 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 a tremendous impact on humanity. We are based in Alameda, CA and are backed by Horizons Ventures, Social Capital, The Capricorn Investment Group, Lux Capital and The Schmidt Family Foundation.

About The Role

Data is Everything. The Saildrone fleet of ocean-going drones tirelessly roams the world's oceans, creating, what will become the world's largest, high-resolution ocean data set. With mission demonstrated reliability and NOAA-approved data precision, we are now growing our fleet of autonomous vehicles from tens to hundreds. To support the drone fleet, we need a sensor supply and management system that can meet the demand.

As Ocean Sensor Technician, your challenges will range from sourcing a wide range of leading-edge sensing equipment, to testing, installation, sensor inventory and calibration management. All critical steps in ensuring we deliver the highest quality data to our customers.

You will be at the operational heart of the company, with frequent exposure to our vendors, customers and our operating environment through field deployment and testing in various parts of the world. This is an effort spanning supply chain management and technical sensor management, focusing on reliability and scale. The precision and reliability of our electronics and sensors are absolutely critical in our mission to deliver planetary insights.


  • Sensor supply chain and inventory management
  • Sensor calibration tracking
  • Final assembly and testing individual sensors and electrical sub-assemblies on completed drones
  • Crimping cables, running cables, building test harnesses
  • Working closely with R&D on new developments, supporting benchtesting
  • Working with drones operations to help installation and debugging / troubleshooting
  • Deployment & field maintenance of sensors, working closely with Drone Operations


  • Experience with oceanographic & meteorological sensors, calibration and drift
  • Experience in an ocean environment
  • BA in Oceanography or equivalent
  • 3 years+ of experience as a technician in a comparable environment
  • Disciplined, troubleshooter and highly organized
  • Keen to travel on field deployments
  • Passion for data, precision and insights that affect our planet
  • A passion for Saildrone's mission


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents
  • Healthy lunch program provided onsite
  • Active sailing classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!
  • Fun team activities including our famous monthly social taxiway BBQ
  • Waterfront office, a former airplane hangar that was once used to film 'The Matrix'
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced paternity/maternity programs
  • Competitive benefits including discounted gym, life insurance, 401k plan

This is an exciting new opportunity to drive your function at 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 an A+ multi-disciplinary team scaling a high-performance business while delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

Our waterfront office offers beautiful views over San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Your commute could be a short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mixing software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar that was once used to film 'The Matrix'.

You can read what the press says about us:

Bloomberg - This armada of drones could conquer the oceans
Inc - The most exciting drones aren't in the air, they are in the oceans
The New York Times - No sailors needed: robot sailboats scour the oceans for data
NOAA -  Adaptable and driven by renewable energy, saildrones voyage into remote waters
The Economist - Sailing the wired seas

Or watch the Saildrone mission being presented the TED stage

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 the property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.