California Institute of Technology
Electrical / Detector Engineer
Open until Filled
Caltech Optical Observatories is seeking an Electrical / Detector Engineer or Physicist to join its Instrumentation Development group. COO provides high-performance astronomical instrumentation for ground-based and space-based observatories around the world. Previous and anticipated projects include deployment of optical and/or NIR detectors in large-format mosaics requiring rapid readout, spectrograph detector systems demanding exquisite noise performance, and fast-frame-rate detectors for adaptive optics wavefront sensing. Our group additionally conducts basic research into phenomena affecting the feasibility or design of future space missions and large telescopes, including how device physics limits precise photometry, astrometry, and weak lensing.
This position is based at the Caltech campus in Pasadena with occasional travel to Observatory sites, industrial suppliers, or technical conferences.
* Evaluation and optimization of imaging sensor performance, creation and ongoing development of detector interface and control electronics, real-time data acquisition systems, and development of experimental setups.
* Detector control system hardware configuration and optimization.
* Detector testing and analysis to construct accurate models of device behavior.
* Design and implementation of experiments to investigate the engineering limits to astronomical observations such as precision photometry, and astrometry, and point spread function shape measurement.
* Thermal design of detector assemblies and cryogenic dewars.
*Troubleshooting and lifecycle support for camera systems deployed at Caltech observatories.
* Design of electronic interfaces, test-signal generators, illuminations systems and environmental controls.
* Other duties as assigned which may include occasionally moving equipment.
* Requires a Master's degree in electrical engineering, physics, or computer science with 6+ years related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
* Emphasis will be placed on initiative and ability for independent system design, integration, and trouble-shooting.
* The successful applicant will be an excellent communicator, highly motivated to pursue world-class experimental work in a multidisciplinary environment, and will engage intellectually in sensor characterization, performance optimization, and test algorithm development.
* A key qualification is extensive experience integrating mixed hardware/software systems for demanding performance applications.
* Proficiency in a substantial number of the following is also sought: analog design, servo design and tuning, grounding and packaging of low noise electronics, high speed analog and digital signal transmission, gate array programming, state machine design, schematic capture, circuit simulation, PCB layout, and operation and testing of cryogenic/vacuum systems.
* Must be able to travel occasionally, including occasional travel to high altitude observatories.
* Ability to occasionally move equipment of up to 60 pounds using equipment such as lifts or jacks.
* Experience with astronomical instrumentation, detectors, and electronics is desirable but not required.
* Desired skills include demonstrated success with in-depth analysis of experimental data, the ability to systematically develop physical models of subtle or illusive phenomena, and optimization of performance of detectors and their electronics, including ASIC controllers, which may be operating at cryogenic temperatures.
* Experience with DSP or FPGA programming, C++, Unix, Python, Matlab, IDL or IRAF, and LabView or similar will be an asset.
To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link: http://apptrkr.com/228623
Caltech is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.
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