Adaptive Optics Controls Scientist

Job Description
Employer Description
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Project is a collaboration of major US and international educational and research institutions constructing a next-generation extremely large optical/infrared telescope for astronomical research. GMT will have a segmented primary mirror approximately 25 meters in diameter, far larger than any current optical/IR telescope. The telescope is being designed with an integrated adaptive optics system and a powerful suite of instruments to support a wide range of scientific programs. The telescope will be located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The Project is currently preparing for the Preliminary Design Review. The GMTO Corporation (GMTO) has been formed to construct and operate the GMT Observatory. The GMTO members include Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), The Smithsonian Institution, Texas A&M University, University of Chicago, The University of Texas at Austin, the Australian National University, Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL), and the University of Arizona. The project office is located in Pasadena, California.

Job Description

Background:

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Project is a collaboration of major US and international educational and research institutions, to construct a next-generation extremely large optical/infrared telescope for scientific astronomical research. GMT will have a segmented primary mirror 25 meters in diameter, 2.5 times larger than any current generation optical/IR telescope, and will be equipped with advanced instrumentation and adaptive optics to achieve its scientific objectives. The telescope will be sited at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

The GMTO Corporation has been formed to construct and operate the GMT Observatory (GMTO). The GMTO members include Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, Smithsonian Institution, University of Arizona, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, the Australian National University, Astronomy Australia Ltd., the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, and the University of Chicago. The project office is located in Pasadena, California.

Job Summary:

The Adaptive Optics Controls Scientist will be responsible for the design, simulation, and performance evaluation of the GMT wavefront control system in the adaptive optics observing modes. The wavefront control system includes the adaptive optics control loops, segment phasing control, and the active optics of the telescope. The AO Controls Scientist will also perform other adaptive optics-related analysis and simulation tasks such as the development of wavefront error budgets, the analysis of site testing data, and evaluating the performance of AO control systems during their laboratory and telescope integration and testing phases. The AO Controls Scientist will work within the adaptive optics group, and reports directly to the AO Group Lead.

The AO Controls Scientist will work closely with members of the Software and Controls group to develop an end-to-end wavefront control simulation for the GMT, which will be used to evaluate the telescope performance in all AO observing modes. This same simulation tool will be integrated into the planning and diagnostics tools used by astronomers once the telescope is commissioned. The AO Controls Scientist will work with members of the Software and Controls group to develop both prototype and final AO real-time computer systems and evaluate their performance. Depending on the candidate’s experience, he/she may also be called upon to design and develop optical testbeds and prototypes to verify wavefront control system algorithms and hardware components.

The AO Controls Scientist will work with members of the AO and Systems Engineering groups to develop and manage requirements and interfaces related to the wavefront control system. He/she will participate in acceptance testing of AO subsystems developed by partner institutions and industrial vendors, and will play a key role in the integration, testing, and commissioning of the AO system at Las Campanas Observatory.

The AO Controls Scientist will be called upon to write technical reports and make presentations in his/her area of responsibility at project reviews and conferences.

Job Duties:

The AO Controls Scientist will be responsible for:
?Developing the wavefront control algorithms for the AO observing modes of the GMT
?Evaluating the performance of the AO system design using wave-optics simulations
?Developing and maintaining the AO system wavefront error budgets
?Designing, performing, and documenting laboratory tests to demonstrate the performance of wavefront control system during AO system integration, testing, and commissioning
?Preparing technical reports to document the wavefront control system design
?Preparing and delivering presentations at technical reviews and conferences

The AO Controls Scientist will work closely with others to:
?Develop an end-to-end wavefront control simulation tool of the GMT
?Develop requirements and interface specifications for components of the wavefront control system
?Design, prototype, and test the AO real-time computer system
?Develop optical testbeds and prototypes for the GMT AO system
?Oversee optical and opto-mechanical acceptance tests of major AO subsystems, including the adaptive secondary mirror
?Integrate and commission the GMT AO system at Las Campanas Observatory

Job Requirements





Minimum Requirements:
?A Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, optical science, or a related field
?5 years post degree experience in the field of adaptive optics
?Strong understanding of control theory and control system simulation methods
?Experience developing and/or using AO simulation software tools
?Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor, partner, and observatory locations as the need arises

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
?Competency using high-level programming languages such as Matlab, IDL, or Python
?Good knowledge of Linux and UNIX operating systems
?Good knowledge of C/C++ is a plus
?Excellent written and oral communication skills in English
?Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment

Company

GMTO Corporation

Job Code

State or Province

California

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