HR: Employment Opportunities
 
 Job posting 18-39
Opening date: May 10, 2018
Closing date:July 6, 2018

TITLE: Electronics Engineer, GS-0855, Grade 13/14; $96,411.00 to $148,108.00/yr
TYPE OF POSITION: Career/Career-Conditional
DIVISION: - SMA
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals. Note: This position is open to current and former Federal employees with permanent status or reinstatement eligibility. Individuals who are eligible for a special appointing authority may also apply; such as applicants with a disability, former Peace Corps volunteers, certain military spouses, veterans seeking a VRA/VEOA appointment, or veterans who have been separated from armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous active service.

Summary

The Submillimeter Array (SMA), located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, is a pioneering radio-interferometer designed for astronomical observations in the major submillimeter atmospheric windows. Its eight antennas are equipped with superconducting mixer receivers operating in the 200, 300, and 400 GHz frequency bands. Back end signal processing is accomplished with the wideband SWARM correlator and phased array processor.

The SMA has embarked upon an ambitious upgrade, called the wSMA, which will enhance its sensitivity by increasing the bandwidth of its receivers, by augmenting its optical signal transmission system (possibly changing from the current analog transmission to a digital system), and by upgrading SWARM with wider bandwidth, more compact, and lower power technology.

DUTIES:

At the GS-13 Level duties include the following:

Play a leading role in implementing an upgrade path to significantly increase the SMA's observing capacity through improvements in sensitivity. Contribute to the definition of the optimum architecture for digitally correlating and phasing the ultra-wide bandwidth output of upgraded wSMA front-ends across the array's eight antennas.

Make key contributions to the detailed design, construction, testing and commissioning of the wide-bandwidth high spectral resolution correlator with phased array capability for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

Develop Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) configuration codes ("gateware"), using hardware description languages such as VHDL or Verilog, and Matlab-Simulink. Responsibilities extend to writing high level layers of control software in object-oriented languages such as Python and C++. Also develop digital signal processing codes for GPU processors in languages such as CUDA and OpenCL.

Contribute to scientific observations using the SMA, and other instruments as appropriate. Prepare results of scientific and technical developments for publication in professional journals and for presentation at engineering or scientific conferences and technical symposia. Participate in review meetings covering technical and scientific research and development.

At the GS-14 level, duties include those at the grade 13 and:

Leading the implementation of an upgrade path to significatnly increase the SMA's observing capacity through improvements in sensitivity.

Initiating key contributions to the detailed degisn, construction and testing and commissioning of the wide- bandwidth high spectral resolution correlator with phased array capability fr Very Long Base line Interfermotetry (VLBI).

Lead the development of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) configuration codes ("gateware"), using hardware description languages such as VHDL or Verilog, and Matlab-Simulink.

Run review meetings covering technical and scientific research and development.

QUALIFICATIONS:

For the GS-13 level -

One year of specialized experience (Federal or other) equivalent to the GS-13 level that is similar to the work of this job. This will include activities such as complex digital signal processing instrument design conducted independently, and including advanced architectural definition. Such instruments should use high performance Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). Experience in hardware description languages such as VHDL or Verilog, and MATLAB-Simulink, GPU programming in CUDA or OpenCL and in real time object oriented programming in languages such as Python or C++.

For the GS-14 level -

One year of specialized experience (Federal or other) equivalent to the GS-13 level that is similar to the work of this job. This will include activities such as expert level complex digital signal processing instrument design conducted independently, and including advanced architectural definition. Such instruments should use high performance Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). An expert level of experience in hardware description languages such as VHDL or Verilog, and MATLAB-Simulink, GPU programming in CUDA or OpenCL and in real time object oriented programming in languages such as Python or C++.

(B) Combination of education and experience--college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.

NOTE:

PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid work on the same basis as for paid experience. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. To receive credit for such experience you must indicate clearly the nature of the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the average number of hours per week spent in such employment.

Education:

Basic Requirements: Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must:

(1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or

2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.

OR

A combination of education and experience--college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. OR

Bachelor's degree in computer science or bachelor's degree with 30 semester hours in a combination of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. At least 15 of the 30 semester hours must have included any combination of statistics and mathematics that included differential and integral calculus. All academic degrees and course work must be from accredited or pre-accredited institutions.

APPLICANT MUST LIST ALL COLLEGE COURSES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. To view the complete vacancy posting, requirements and the procedures to apply, please visit: USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

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