Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is inviting applications as a part of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program.
SOFIA is a premier observatory for infrared and submillimeter astronomy. The SOFIA 747-SP aircraft carries a 2.5-meter telescope designed to make sensitive infrared measurements on a variety of astronomical objects. SOFIA is a joint project between NASA and German Aerospace Center, DLR. USRA operates the SOFIA Science Center at NASA’s Ames Research Center for NASA. The aircraft observatory is based at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The SOFIA science center offers an exciting research environment and close proximity to astrophysics, planetary science, and astrobiology groups at NASA Ames and the SETI Institute.
USRA is accepting applications for the position of Support Scientist with an emphasis of dispersive infrared spectroscopy. We are seeking an experienced observational astronomer to support the SOFIA guest investigator community and instrument teams in the definition, acquisition and analysis of, primarily, spectroscopic data from current and future SOFIA instruments. The first-generation dispersive spectroscopic near- to mid-IR modes available on SOFIA are grism spectroscopy with the near infrared FLITECAM, and mid infrared FORCAST instruments and high-resolution spectroscopy with the mid infrared EXES spectrometer. FIFI-LS will provide integral field spectroscopic capabilities in the FIR. In addition, the GREAT instrument is available for heterodyne spectroscopy in the far infrared. Initially, the successful applicants will assist with characterization, calibration and preparation of user documentation for the instruments and integrating the instruments on the observatory. During operations the Support Scientist is expected to assist in operating the instrument(s), monitor their performance and provide user support to the community. The successful candidates should have a strong interest in SOFIA and be actively pursuing research broadly related to SOFIA science. The Support Scientist will have up to 25% of their time available for personal research. The candidates will have an office at NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, but will be expected to spend significant time at the Palmdale SOFIA Operations Center site during integration and operations.
Qualifications and experience required for this position:
PhD in Astronomy, Physics or related field
Minimum of five years of post-degree experience in astronomical research and infrared observations
Experience in high-resolution, ground-based, infrared spectroscopy is desirable
Applicants should submit a cover letter, a copy of their CV including a list of publications, and a description of their research interests, including relevance to and/or projected use of SOFIA science. Applicant should also provide names and contact information of three references.