The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is Canada’s national facility for radio astronomy. Astronomers and engineers work closely together to design and build innovative radio telescopes, and use radio telescopes at DRAO and elsewhere to conduct frontline research.
In the past several years, new and upgraded astronomical telescopes have increased resolution and bandwidth by significant factors. In keeping with this trend, the amount of data generated by these powerful instruments has multiplied, making the ability to manage and process large volumes of data in an organized and scalable manner a necessity.
The Research Associate (RA), Radio Software will contribute to the design and implementation of software systems employing digital signal processing algorithms and, developing applications for handling large volumes of data, providing backend systems support and implementing data pipelines for new and proposed radio astronomical instruments under development at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.
Contributing to a diversely-skilled team, the RA, Radio Software will apply astronomical knowledge and experience through their software skills to many projects, participating in the design and development of novel and robust software backend systems for radio astronomical telescopes. From providing advice, consultation and guidance during the design process to the implementation and testing of front-line software applications that handle large volumes of data in radio telescope backend systems, our new team member will find themselves a participant in many projects currently underway at the observatory.
As part of the RA Program you must have received your PhD or Masters in Astronomy, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or a related discipline within the last five years or you expect to receive the degree within the next six months.
For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency
Research Associates are effectively term limited staff members with all the associated benefits, including paid maternity and parental leave, vacation, accruable pension contributions and others.
We encourage researchers in any area of astrophysics who possess strong software skills to apply. For reference, the following are active fields of research, design and development within the radio software group at NRC Herzberg:
Radio Telescope control systems, utilizing messaging protocols and software packages to design and implement distributed monitor and control systems for new and existing telescopes and instruments.
Large volume data management, including database design and administration for the efficient processing and handling of large volumes of astronomical data.
User interfaces for the control of radio telescopes and related instruments, providing intuitive, efficient and elaborate control capabilities to end users.
Data archive creation and management, including providing an interface to the Canadian Astronomical Data Centre (CADC) in Victoria BC.
The successful candidate will:
Possess an understanding and have experience with the complete software development process, including solicitation of requirements, design, development, testing and integration.
Have a working knowledge of digital signal processing algorithms and their application to large volumes of data.
Engage with the astronomical community to advance NRC Herzberg’s mandate to provide astronomical facilities and services to Canadian researchers. NRC Herzberg is a leading developer of instrumentation for current and future ground- and space-based telescopes (e.g., ALMA, CFHT, Gemini, JWST, MSE, SKA, and TMT). NRC Herzberg also hosts CADC, which provides scientific data preservation, distribution, and analysis services to the community. The CADC is also home to the Canadian Virtual Observatory, the CANFAR cloud computing network, and extensive data archives (including those for CFHT, CGPS, HST, and JCMT).
The initial appointment is of two years duration, which may be extended (subject to performance and availability of funds).
Applicants must have acquired their Ph.D. or M.Sc. in Astronomy, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or a related discipline within the last five years or expect to obtain their degree within the next six months.
NRC is an equal opportunity employer.
Applications should be made by 1st February 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern time via the process described at the URL provided.
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