APO 3.5m ARC telescope Hardware/Software Programmer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
The upcoming date less then 1 day.
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
New Mexico State University/Apache Point Observatory
Department Name: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

APO 3.5m ARC telescope Hardware/Software Programmer

New Mexico State University is seeking a Hardware/Software Programmer for the ARC 3.5m Telescope at Apache Point Observatory (APO) in Sunspot, New Mexico.  The Hardware/Software Programmer would be responsible for supporting current hardware/software interfaces to the telescope as well as improving/developing new programs.  APO is located in the Lincoln National Forest 16 miles from the village of Cloudcroft, NM.  The observatory sits on a ridge overlooking White Sands National Park, White Sands Missile Test Range and Alamogordo, NM.  APO has great seeing and dark skies, which allow wide field optical/infrared imaging and spectroscopy observing year round.  Working at APO, employees have the opportunity to lead/participate in research on the telescopes, tuition waivers to take classes at NMSU, or attend/present at conferences for professional development.

Job Summary

Maintain, develop and migrate software for the monitor and control of the 3.5m ARC telescope.

Develop and migrate software to integrate astronomical instruments, electromechanical systems, sensor devices and other metrology into the 3.5m ARC telescope system.

Write online documentation, user manuals, quick look data reduction tools and cookbooks for the 3.5m ARC telescope. 

Support observing and engineering staff with software and hardware integration projects.

Maintain Linux server systems and provide support to IT systems including day-to-day operations, monitoring and problem resolution.


Please apply for this position by following the link to the NMSU jobs website https://jobs.nmsu.edu/postings/45716

Essential Functions

Works with the 3.5m telescope staff on designing and implementing software for the monitor and control of the telescope and instruments.

Identifies, analyzes, and tests existing software packages to determine their suitability for use controlling the telescope and instruments.

Take ownership of, maintain and repair previously written control systems, hardware interfaces and end user programs.

Integrates and supports astronomical instruments, electromechanical systems, and sensor devices.

Develops test plans and implements the corresponding software modules within a revision controlled framework.

Generates online documentation for the 3.5m system software.

Contribute to existing, generate new and maintain user manuals, step-by-step procedures, wiki documents and cookbooks for the 3.5m telescope system.

Assists with maintaining the 24/7 uptime (on call/remote support) of APO computing and networking infrastructure, web server, etc.

Other Functions

Performs other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the Observatory.

Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.

Works in partnership with colleagues within the 3.5m community at APO and the partner institutions.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Robotics, Astronomy, or related field plus four years of relevant work experience.

An introductory background in Controls Design such as understanding and programming of proportional, integral and derivative controllers. 

Experience with computer to machine hardware interfaces (RS232/485/Modbus/USB/etc).

Experience with Linux operating systems.

Knowledge of Python, C/C++, shell scripting in UNIX/Linux/Mac OS.

Experience with programming/debugging graphical user interfaces is desirable.

Experience with high and low level programming languages.

Experience with hardware control applications and real time operating systems.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with robotics or telescope/industrial control systems is a plus.

Knowledge of Linux based system administration.

Knowledge of interfacing hardware with VMWare based virtual machines.

Knowledge of modern computer networks and the administration of those networks.

Working Knowledge of RS232/485/Modbus/USB, terminal servers, PCI/PCIe and media converters is highly desirable.
Knowledge of IOC databases such as EPICS or similar. Direct experience working with or managing an EPICS database is a plus.

Additional Details

Employment is contingent on funding and eligibility for employment in U.S. and results of a background verification.  Anticipated closing date of 5/1/22.  EEO/AA.

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job