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Sensors Technician

Engineering | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map and monitor the oceans to understand, preserve, and protect our world.  Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called Saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We work with governments, civic agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas - be it in sailing drones into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane to obtain new scientific storm data, 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.  As a result of our work, we have been selected as one of the "Forbes Top 10 Wonders of 2021", as well as the Smithsonian Institute's "Top 10 Ocean Stories of 2021", New York Times' "Top 21 Things that happened (for the first time) in 2021", and Popular Science's "100 Greatest Innovations of 2021".   We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC and St. Petersburg, FL and operate our missions worldwide.  We are backed by top-tier investors in the frontier-tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective.

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 Sensors Technician plays a key role supporting the Saildrone mission. Data quality from our fleet of deployed sensors, is the core of our business and the Sensor Technician will own the entire process of pre-mission preparation, through live mission sensor monitoring, to facilitating post mission sensor and data deliverables. The Sensor Technician is responsible for organizing sensor configurations, calibrations, and maintenance across the entire Saildrone fleet.

As the role requirements grow, the Sensor Technician will grow their team by onboarding and managing additional sensor technicians.

Note: Almost all calibrations are outsourced to sensor manufacturers (We do not actually perform Lab calibrations ourselves.) so ‘sensor calibration management’ is an organizational role, not a lab based technical role.


Mission Preparation 

  • Manage full life-cycle (pre-install, mission, post-mission) sensors, both Saildrone's and Customer-provided including: ADCP, ATRH, fluorometers, CTDs, dissolved oxygen, various radiometers and pyrometers, CO2 sensors, depth sounders and sonars including WBT mini.

  • Monitor data quality during readiness, sea trial, pre mission steps and early deployment.

  • Manage equipment including technical administration, data evaluation, and calibrations

  • Pre-mission customer communications for configuration requests and mission plans

  • Assist with staging sensors, vehicles, and equipment prior to assembly and sea trials

  • Offboarding raw data after sea trial in partnership with engineering teams

On Mission 

  • Monitoring sensor data quality and sensor functionality during missions 

  • Troubleshooting, communicating with Mission Management & Engineering, escalating sensor malfunctions when required

  • Interface with customer on mission comms platforms and participate in customer calls/meetings

  • Partner with Business Development, Legal and, Operations teams for communication and strategy of critical service issues

Post Mission

  • Managing post calibrations and documentation internally and to customers 

  • Offboarding raw data after missions in partnership with engineering teams

  • Offboarding isolated sensor data and delivery to customers

  • Recalibration and preparation of sensors for subsequent missions


  • 5+ years of Lab and fieldwork experience in maintaining and deploying relevant Oceanographic or atmospheric sensors.

  • Hands-on experience in using specific sensors, such as SBE37, WHM300 ADCP & ATRH devices.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Technical/Analytical mindset

  • Highly detailed/organized

  • Basic Linux command line usage

  • Familiarity with Serial Communication

  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent work experience

Desired Skills

  • Basic computer programming ability or interest, including Python programming/scripting


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.

  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents

  • Enhanced paternity / maternity programs

  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan


Catch up on the latest news about us:


We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.


In accordance with Saildrone’s mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policy, please be advised that all employees are required to be vaccinated and boosted to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors and the community at large.


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.