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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0088
Post Date 4/28/2017
Title Instrumentation Calibration Engineer
City Boulder
State CO

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.

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
  • 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

Please list 3 professional references in your application and attach a CV or resume (PDF files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: 17-0088LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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