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Job Details


Requisition Number 17-0080
Post Date 4/21/2017
Title Telescope Operator
City La Serena
Description Position Summary:
Responsible for night time operation of the 4M Blanco Telescope or SOAR 4M telescope and instruments associated to one of these large telescopes. The position involves setup and operation of the telescopes and their associated instruments, taking responsibility for the safety of the Telescope Operator himself/herself and the integrity of the telescope and instruments during the observing period.

The floating operator may be assigned to operate either of the 4m telescope according to needs, changing work station between Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachon as required.

In addition to operating the telescopes are expected to participate in general observer tasks, which might include daytime as well as nighttime tasks.



Duties and Responsibilities:

• Set up astronomical instruments used on the telescope.
• Operate and control the telescope and related sub systems.
• Work with technical and scientific staff to troubleshoot telescope and instrument problems during night-time operations.
• Refill the instruments with LN2 when necessary.
• Verify daily weather conditions and, when the conditions do not allow for observations to occur, lead the work to close and protect the installations in the summit.
• Verify that there are no sources of light contamination in or around the facility
• Maintain a register of telescope usage and report errors or maintenance needs on a nightly basis.
• Carry out actions on the nightly check lists and fill out the Telescope Operators reports.
• Help update instrumentation and telescope control user guides and web pages.


Job Specifications:
Must be able to handle multiple priorities under a high-level of pressure.
Must be a self-starter able to do the job with minimal guidance and supervision.
Must be comfortable handling various formats of documentation (doc, docx, xsl, xslx, ppt, pptx, pdf, jpg, dwg, fits, tif, etc).
Bilingual (English/Spanish) in both spoken and written formats.
Must be able to build and maintain good working relationships with TelOps members located at Cerro Tololo and SOAR at Cerro Pachon.
Must work in coordination with Observer Support, Site Manager/Coordinator and Scientific staff.

Requirements Education Required:
University Degree or equivalent, can be partially satisfied with comparable work experience.
A degree in Physics and/or Astronomy is desirable.

Experience Required:
Ideally has proven experience as Telescope Operator for at least 2-5 years

Skills Required:
Must be familiar at a user level with Linux, Unix, Windows. User level familiarity with Labview is desirable.
Must be familiar at a user level with Network access and remote access software like VNC.
Must possess English verbal and written communication skills.
Must have good interpersonal skills.

Essential Job Functions:

Part A - Must possess - sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.

Part B - Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, horns or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately.

Part C – Must be able - to sit for long periods of time; must be able to drive a 4-w drive vehicle and possess a clean driving record; to take and pass high altitude physical.


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