Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Scientist


  • Location:
    Porton Down
  • Salary:

Job Description

About the job

The ability to accurately determine position, time, orientation and velocity with respect to a common reference is critical to the employment of both military power, and civilian infrastructure such as transport, power generation, or even high frequency trading.

Historically, the solution has often been to rely on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as the United States NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) or the Russian GLONASS. But, what if these systems were unavailable, insufficiently accurate or deliberately misleading? As a PNT Scientist within the Cyber and Information System (CIS) Division you will help answer this question, a question critical to the defence, security and prosperity of our nation!

This is not a graduate role, this role will require you to formulate, conduct, lead and advise on fundamental research conducted either in-house, by international allies, within academia or across the private sector. As a source of expertise you will supply uniquely trusted, sensitive, specialist advice to decision makers enabling them to act as intelligent customers from both capability delivery and economic perspectives. You will also support them through the process of evidence-based requirements definition and solution assessment.

In return Dstl will support you in further professional and academic development in a state of the art field within a highly successful world-leading team, whose services are in huge demand! Working for us you can expect to be deployed on activities across several domains in either direct support or as a Technical Partner with Industry.

Dstl is the science inside Government.
Job description
In this role you will:
• Lead, undertake and support activities to identify and address current and future navigation issues.
• Identify ground-breaking technologies, and support their development and utilisation in the combinations that most benefit defence, security and national prosperity.
• Collaborate closely with customer communities across Government.
• Recommend research programme priorities to meet future defence needs.
• Provide technical guidance to and collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders.
• Supervise and critique research undertaken by industry and academic partners.

The successful candidate will demonstrate their knowledge in a significant number of the following areas:
• current and near-term operational PNT systems and details of their design;
• the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of PNT technologies such as GNSS and INS, sufficient to provide support and guidance to others;
• alternative navigation techniques including historic, adequate to recommend how they might be employed in today’s military systems;
• synergies between different PNT systems and techniques sufficient to recommend pairings;
• coordinate systems, reference datums and projections and where they are best suited;
• terrain databases, their strengths and weaknesses;
• PNT data interface standards, national and international, and their application down to hardware level
• data fusion techniques e.g. Kalman Filters;
• EM signal propagation;
• cryptography.
• the potential impact of EW & Cyber operations on navigation systems sufficient to suggest mitigations;
• trials planning and execution;
• navigation system simulation and assessment software including hardware in the loop;
• systems and software engineering practice;
• programming (coding);
• mathematical skills including trigonometry, algebra, calculus and statistics;
• a knowledge of current and emerging PNT relevant technologies;
• writing technical reports for military, civil service, academic and industry audiences;

You will be:
• a confident and clear presenter to large mixed-ability audiences;
• able to lead teams which may include dispersed extramural staff;
• able to work simultaneously on a range of projects spread across the TRL 1 to 6 spectrum.
• presenting to conferences and seminars in the UK and abroad.
• publishing reports for consumption by audiences with military, civil service, academic and industry backgrounds.
• managing stakeholders, including senior officials.
• providing advice to government and military communities.
• developing junior staff.
• ensuring the technical quality of and maximising the value of Dstl’s research.

We are looking for someone who has:
• A background in at least one PNT technology or technique, preferably more
• An understanding of PNT source fusion is essential.
• An appetite to learn more and an ability to think in terms of systems and services.
• An attested ability to lead, to influence, and to build durable positive relationships with a broad range of military and non-military partners.

Important Information
Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be British Citizens who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to understand the work you will undertake to protect us from any security threats. For this reason, we regret that only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners across the enterprise. We work closely with the Defence and Security Industry on many projects, so it would be great to work with you via one of our partners.
An Honours Degree or equivalent, ideally in a STEM subject, but experience and ability are what count most and Dstl does support their staff in gaining higher qualifications
Not vital although if you are not already, you will be encouraged, though not required, to work towards Chartership of two relevant professional bodies. This will be funded by Dstl.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Seeing the Big Picture
Changing and Improving
Making Effective Decisions
Working Together
Delivering at Pace
Developing Self and Others
We'll provide a great range of benefits including;

- Fully flexible working, including alternative working patterns, annualised hours, compressed hours and job share, to name a few.
- Flexible Working hours, a 12 month reference period and the ability to bank hours. Up to 20 hours can be taken in any calendar month
- Excellent learning and development to ensure everyone fulfils their potential.
- Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay.
- Chartership and accreditation support.
- Pension.
- Generous annual leave, with the ability to buy and sell up to 5 days holiday per year.
- A competitive salary.
- Onsite gyms and restaurants.
- Staff discounts for high street and online shopping, restaurants and days out.

Our Diversity Networks

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution. We have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work.

These include the following;
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network
- Faith and Culture Network
- Parents and Carer Support Network
- Alternative Working Network
- Gender Equality Network
- New Starters Network
- Enabled Network, for people with visible and non-visible disabilities

If you have a disability we will try our best to make reasonable adjustments to remove any barriers to this post in the application / interview process due to a disability.