SPHEREx Instrument Test Engineer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Archive Date: 
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
California Institute of Technology
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

SPHEREx Instrument Test Engineer



Job Category: Fulltime Term

Exempt Overtime Eligible: Exempt

Benefits Eligible: Benefit Based


Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.


Job Summary

The Observational Cosmology group at Caltech is looking to hire an outstanding candidate to work on the integration, test and characterization of the SPHEREx flight instrument. SPHEREx is a new infrared survey satellite, recently selected by NASA as a medium-class explorer satellite for launch in 2023.


SPHEREx will map the large scale structure of galaxies to probe cosmological parameters, including signatures from the period of inflation. It will also study galaxy evolution, survey biogenic ices during the early phases of star formation throughout the Milky Way, and produce a large spectral dataset for the astronomical community. The selected applicants will develop, test and characterize the telescope, filter and detector system to meet flight requirements to achieve these goals.


Job Duties

– Verify optical focus and alignment at cryogenic operating temperature

– Characterize instrument parameters such as spectral response, detector noise, flat field and image persistence

– Characterize instrument components including 2k x 2k HgCdTe detector arrays

– Qualify flight hardware under environmental thermal cycle and vibration

– Design and procure laboratory calibration equipment including infrared collimators, monochromators, and cryogenic vacuum chambers to support these tests

– Develop specialized control software to interface laboratory equipment with data acquisition systems for automating measurements

– Document test results of flight hardware


Basic Qualifications

– Undergraduate degree in engineering, physics or astronomy, with a minimum of 5 years of experience

– A track record of successfully designing, building and testing cryogenic infrared instrumentation, as indicated


Preferred Qualifications

– Graduate degree in engineering, physics or astronomy

– US citizenship or permanent resident to facilitate access to NASA and aerospace facilities

– Familiarity with instrument design software such as Zemax, Solidworks, Matlab, IDL, Python, etc. 

– Previous experience with flight hardware

– Candidates with backgrounds in CMB/millimeter-wave instrumentation are also encouraged to apply.


Required Documents

– Resume

– CV

– Cover Letter

– 3 Letters of Recommendation


For more information or to apply, please visit: https://apptrkr.com/1445422


EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Selection Deadline: 
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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