HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 18-81
Opening date: September 25, 2018
Closing date:October 10, 2018

TITLE: Radio Astronomer, IS-1310, Grade 13; $96,411.00 to $125,335.00/yr
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (Indefinite)
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates eligible to work in the United States.

Note: Two positions to be filled from this vacancy announcement.


The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a pioneering Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) array with an angular resolution of the order of ten micro-arcseconds. It operates at 1.3 mm and shorter wavelengths. The EHT investigates the characteristics of emission from Supermassive Black Holes on event-horizon scales, with the ultimate goal of making an image on these scales, thereby testing Einstein's theory of general relativity in the strong field limit.


1. Lead investigations into the data calibration and analysis pipeline of the EHT, including determination of a formal testing protocol, documentation of residual systematic uncertainties, and feedback to generate operational protocols to ensure optimal data acquisition.

2. Develop new algorithms for VLBI data processing and analysis, including correlation, calibration, time domain, and imaging studies.

3. Lead studies of next-generation EHT enhancements. These include the development of a cloud- computing framework for VLBI correlation, tools to evaluate the relative merits of new site locations, including space platforms, new imaging algorithms to study sources with rapid variability, and the evaluation of existing EHT data pipelines to identify areas of improvement.

4. Design and conduct astronomical observations for both testing and for original scientific research using EHT data.

5. Develop and test new software to prioritize EHT development.

6. Prepare papers describing data, techniques, results and interpretations for publication in scientific or technical journals. Give presentations at scientific or technical meetings and conferences, and within the CfA.

7. Contribute to the preparation of written reports, observing and funding proposals, white papers, and research articles.

8. Participate in implementing operational enhancements at EHT sites through integration of software and hardware.


One year of full-time experience at the GS-12 level that is close or similar to the work of this job. The experience includes activities such as software and/or algorithmic development for data storage, processing, calibration, and analysis related to radio interferometry; development of high-performance computing and/or cloud computing solutions for data calibration and analysis; and published scientific studies using radio interferometric data that required developing significant new software and/or data analysis capabilities.


Grade 13: Education cannot be substituted for the required specialized experience. Basic Requirements:

* Degree: in one or a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science, or electronics. The course work must have included differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy and/or physics OR;

* Combination of education and experience -- at least 30 semester hours of courses equivalent to a major in any combination of astronomy, space science, physics, mathematics, and electronics, with required course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

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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