Science Archive Content Manager

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, October 25, 2019
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 22, 2019
To event remaining 6 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA Observatory)
Department Name: 
Department of Science Operations
Street Line 1: 
Alonso de Córdova 3107
Street Line 2: 
Province of Santiago
Job Announcement Text: 

Job Description

The Science Archive Content Manager (SACMs) calibrate and image, through the ALMA science pipeline, a significant fraction of the ALMA science data, and carefully check their quality before sending the data products to the ALMA users.

She/he is expected to become an expert in ALMA data reduction, and to develop a very good understanding of the overall data workflow (procedures and software tools), from the telescope all the way down to the delivery of the data.


She/he will have regular interactions both with other astronomers within the Department of Science Operations at JAO, and with the astronomers at the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs) around the world, who also process ALMA data.


Furthermore, she/he will have frequent contact with software engineers and IT-experts in charge of the JAO processing infrastructure, within the ALMA Department of Computing.

Finally, she/he is expected to have frequent contact with the CASA/ALMA pipeline development teams, plus other teams situated at the ARCs, which actively participate in development initiatives closely related to data processing.

Key Responsabilities

The data of all observed ALMA scientific projects are carefully processed (i.e. calibrated and imaged through a pipeline) by ALMA staff before being sent to the ALMA users. Additionally, there is a quality assessment (QA) of the final images, through dedicated software tools, to verify that the data will meet the science goals set by the Primary Investigator (PI). When necessary, ALMA staff performs additional imaging, so that the ALMA products meet the PI requirements.

The data processing, QA and imaging of the science data are under the responsibility of both the SACM team at JAO, and the astronomers at the ARCs. However, the intention is to progressively take over most of the work at JAO. The main duties of the successful candidate will be:


-        QA of the science data products produced by the pipeline (review of weblog, check of QA scores, check of images, comparison with science goals from PI proposal).

-        Manual data reduction, depending on level of expertise.

-        First level of investigation on issues (hardware or software) discovered during QA.

-        Contribution to specification and testing of new pipeline heuristics, depending on level of   expertise.

-        Test of new pipeline versions.

-        Definition, update or improvement of procedures related to data workflow.

-      Development of Python routines, to automate specific tasks, depending on level of expertise



  • PhD in astronomy/physics with minimum one year of relevant work experience, or Masters in astronomy/physics with longer relevant work experience.
  • Experience in reduction of astronomical data.
  • Good command of Unix/Linux.
  • Experience in sub-mm/radio interferometric and/or single-dish data reduction will be considered an asset.
  • Experience in Python programming and SQL queries will be considered an asset.
  • Motivated, proactive, team player, with very good interpersonal skills.
  • Detail oriented, curious and with strong interest in observatory operations.
  • Ability to work on a (small) number of tasks in parallel.
  • Ability to write clear and concise reports.
  • Long term commitment.

General Conditions:

Duty Station: the successful candidate will mainly work at the Santiago ALMA Office in Vitacura. During the training period, some 8/6 turno shifts (eight days at the mountain, six days off duty) at the Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama, Region II, will be scheduled based on the previous observing experience of the successful candidate.

After the training period, the candidate is expected to perform her/his duties in an office environment.

Physical health compatible high altitude conditions (sites are located at 2900 m and 5000 m above sea level). A successful high altitude medical check is a necessary condition for employment.

It should be noted that 100% of the SACM time is dedicated to the operational activities described above. There is no time foreseen for scientific research.  

Given that this is a local staff position, there is no possibility to cover any travel costs relate to the move of the successful candidate to Santiago, Chile.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 25, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Camila Espinosa
Talent Manager Officer
Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA Observatory)
Department Name: 
Human Resources
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Camila Espinosa
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