Electro-Optical Engineer | U.S. Navy at Dahlgren Naval Base

Date Posted: 
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Position Location: 
Dahlgren, VA
Job Description: 


  • ND-0801/1310-04

JOB SUMMARY: This position is organizationally located in the Laser and Optic Systems Branch (Q21), within the Directed Energy Division (Q20), of the Electromagnetic & Sensor Systems Department (Q), with the permanent duty station at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, VA.

The Laser & Optic Systems Branch (Q21) is searching for a person to provides electro-optical engineering expertise in the development of the LaWS SSL weapon and other laser programs.  Specific knowledge in electro-optics, development and test of electro-optics subsystems and overall integration into a laser weapon.  

Current development efforts are in support of the Laser Weapon Systems developmental at the component, subsystem, test bed and prototype levels. A successful candidate for this position will join a high performing and highly motivated team of engineers and scientists to lead efforts to deliver this game changing technology to our sailors and marines.  


  1. Knowledge and experience with high energy laser systems such as weapon systems, research laser system and material processing systems.
  2. Knowledge in Electro-Optics, development and test of electro-optic sensors as it applies to overall integration into a weapon system.  
  3. Understanding and ability to trace interface control documents from optics sensor subsystem to user interface of weapon system.
  4. Demonstrated ability to communicate technical and programmatic information orally and in writing to senior technical and program leadership.


  1. Knowledge and understanding of adaptive optics and how it applies to high energy lasers.
  2. Experience simulating and analyzing end-to-end performance of optical imaging systems (Matlab or Python or similar tools) 
  3. Understanding of imaging system design for military use (maritime, vibration, thermal, etc)
  4. Knowledge of optical coatings and effects of environmental conditions on various coatings.


  • Apply knowledge of and experience with technology development of complex weapon systems and current shipboard combat systems such as EO/IR Sensor systems,   Design and integrate Tracking and Control systems,  as well as  laser illuminators and laser ranging systems
  • Evaluate contractor designs, make recommendations for changes, and assess additional technology advancements and investment in electro optics for high energy laser weapon systems.


In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Physics, specialized experience shall include a minimum of five years in electro-optics and controls, with minimum one year of specialized experience in the researching, developing, engineering, testing, and integrating optic sensors into weapon systems.


High Energy Laser Definition:  There is no unique definition for a “High Energy Laser” although DoD HEL security guidelines classify the characteristics of any laser whose average power (or energy) is above 200 kW.  Typically for today’s tactical laser weapon development programs, anything over about 10 kW is loosely referred to as an HEL.  

Directed Energy Definition:  Technologies and weapon systems employing primarily electromagnetic energy (high power lasers, radio frequencies, and/or microwaves) to attack or affect targets of military interest in a non-conventional manner.  Directed Energy is similar to Electronic Warfare but is differentiated by the time of the effect in that the targets are persistently disrupted or damaged by Directed Energy whereas they are usually only jammed for a short duration by Electronic Warfare systems.  High Energy and Low Energy weapon systems can provide graduated affects from damage to denial.

HEL Weapon System Definition:  A high energy laser (HEL) weapon is a system whose purpose is to deposit sufficient thermal energy (heat) onto a small portion of a remote target to damage it or interfere with its functioning.  Two major subsystems of an HEL weapon are the beam director and the lasers. The beam director points and minimizes the spread of the beam, whereas the laser subsystem provides a high energy coherent light source that produces a damaging effect on the target.




If interested in the position, send a resume and preferably a 1-page statement of purpose, outlining career interests to: David Newton at david.w.newton@navy.mil.