Applications are being accepted for National Research Council (NRC) postdoctoral positions in transient radio astronomy at NRL. NRL is funding an initiative with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) to develop a commensal, low-frequency observing system on the VLA. The system will harvest up to 6000 hours per year using the new “Low Band” (<400 MHz) observing system, operating initially in the 330 MHz band. These observations will be acquired in parallel to normal, Cassegrain-focus based GHz observations. A primary focus is both fast and slow radio-selected transients, including precision localization on the sky via interferometry. A funded pathfinder system called the VLA Low Frequency Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE) will operate on 10 antennas and is expected to come on line towards the end of CY14.
Researchers are sought who can address both technical and scientific aspects of the project. Technical challenges include pipelined data reduction for the detection and localization of both fast (< 2 s, pre-correlation) and slow (>2 s post-correlation) radio transients. Fast transient detection will benefit from GPU-programming skills, while imaging applications will benefit from experience with ionospheric calibration, RFI mitigation, and wide-field imaging techniques. Astrophysical research will involve transient search analysis, and where applicable, rapid multi-wavelength follow-ups across a suite of instruments at higher (e.g. JVLA, VLBA, GBT, GMRT, ATCA, Chandra, and XMM) and lower (e.g. LOFAR and LWA), frequencies, respectively. An available option is residence at the NRAO site in New Mexico.
Postdoctoral applications are pursued through the NRC. NRL-NRC fellows must have held their doctorate for less than five years at the time the award is offered. Awards are initially for one year (current stipend $74,872, $3000 travel allotment), and renewable for at least one additional year. Applicants submit an original research proposal (through the NRC) for review by the NRL advisor and evaluation by an external NRC panel. US citizenship or legal US permanent residency is required. Application materials and instructions can be obtained at http://www.nas.edu/rap. Each year, deadlines for submission to the NRC are February 1, May 1 and August 1. For further information contact Drs. Namir Kassim or Paul Ray at the above address. EOE/AAE.