Instrumentation Calibration Engineer

AURA Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., Boulder , CO, United StatesEmployer Description

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

Job Description

The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) at the National Solar Observatory is recruiting one or more Instrument Calibration Engineers to both support calibration algorithm development and coding of those algorithms needed for facility science verification. The selected candidate will work closely with the instrument development teams and the DKIST Instrument Systems Scientist to develop the initial prototype code based on the instrument documented algorithms and ultimately refine that code for fulfillment of the science verification process. The selected candidate will be part of the DKIST Construction Team reporting to the DKIST Instrument Systems Scientist to ensure validity of the calibrations. The position will be located in Boulder, CO.

Essential Functions:

  • Contribute to the development of DKIST instrument-based calibration algorithms and their documentation
  • Design and develop calibration scripts, based on the documented algorithms, for the DKIST first light instruments
  • Identify, prototype, and characterize performance and failure modes of calibration algorithms providing assessment for DKIST instrument physics data quality
  • Work with NSO staff, instrument partners, and external community members to deliver calibrations for multiple instruments types (imaging, spectral, polarimetric)
  • Contribute to operationalization of DKIST calibration techniques and strategies
Job Requirements
  • At least 5 years of experience using Python for numerical analysis (preferably for astronomical scripting)
  • Extensive knowledge of basic calibration techniques relevant to solar/Optical-Infrared physics data from photometric, spectral, and polarimetric instruments
  • Understanding of solar/OIR astronomical observing methods and procedures
  • Experience with software engineering best practices, such as version control (e.g., Git), automated testing, code reviews, collaborative environments, etc.
  • Ability to design efficient algorithms and optimize their programmatic implementation
  • Ability to speak and write effectively in English, including preparation of comprehensive technical reports and code documentation
  • Ability to effectively communicate with instrument partners and community users
  • Occasional travel (<10%) expected

Desirable Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Postdoctoral and/or professional experience in Solar Physics
  • Experience developing and robustly implementing solar physics data processing algorithms and prototype codes
  • Familiarity with current solar physics facility instruments, such as those at the Dunn Solar Telescope
  • Experience using community solar processing software tools (e.g., SolarSoft, SunPy)
  • Experience deploying scientific codes within workflow systems

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