Observing Assistant - Astrophysicist - JRID31641

Submission Dates
Archive Date: 
August 1, 2008
Deadline to Apply for Job: 
July 30, 2008
Job Details
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution/Company Name: 
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Submission Address for Resumes/CVs
Attention To: 
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Contact Information For Inquiries About Job
Email Address for Inquiries: 
Job Announcement Text: 

Observing Assistant - Astrophysicist, GS-1330-07 , Hilo Hawaii
Federal Term Appointment for One Year with Possible Extension to 4 years
Salary Range - $32,534 - 42,290 + 25% Differential Pay

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory invites applications from qualified individuals for the position of Observing Assistant for the Submillimeter Array (SMA), which is a collaborative effort between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) of Taiwan. It is the world's first submillimeter interferometer, and is designed for observations in the major atmospheric windows from 180 GHz to 900 GHz. SAO and ASIAA are currently adding receivers to include the 320 - 420 GHz frequency range, which will enable dual-polarized operation near 350 GHz. Developments underway include a doubling of the array bandwidth for single-receiver operation; upgrades to 650 GHz receiver sensitivity; extension of current polarimetry capabilities; and the addition of a second set of 650 GHz receivers for dual-polarized operation across this band. Looking forward, the SMA group is extremely interested in improving the sensitivity of the SMA at all wavelengths and assessing scientific opportunities enabled by enhancements to the SMA, such as extending interferometric observations down to 200 microns.

SMA Observing Assistant responsibilities include: working at the 13,200 ft site for several nights each month during scheduled shifts; operating the array for science observations, as well as ongoing engineering testing and development; troubleshooting any problems with hardware and software used during observations; some interpretation of testing results and assuring data quality during science observations and ensuring the physical safety of personnel, visitors and equipment. Desired qualifications include a BS or BA in physics, astronomy or a related field, or equivalent experience and the ability to drive a 4WD vehicle on unpaved roads. Experience in operating astronomical telescopes and a continued interest in astronomical data acquisition are also required.

This position is based in Hilo, Hawaii, and a significant fraction of the Operator's time will be spent at the dormitory used by all Mauna Kea telescopes, located at 9,000 ft elevation. This position is restricted to US citizens. Benefits include, health and life insurance, sick/vacation leave and retirement coverage. High altitude physical is required prior to appointment. Recruitment bonus may be paid. Relocation costs will not be paid.
Further information and instructions for applying can be found at
http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/hr/postings/ (Job Posting 28-22)
Closing date for this position is July 30, 2008.