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Job Title:
Radio Astronomer IS-1330, Grade 13 $102,601 to $133,382 per year
Type of Position:
Trust Fund (non-Federal) Indefinite
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates eligible to work in the United States, including non-US citizens.


This is the position of Radio Astronomer with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) group at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA.  The EHT is a pioneering Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) that achieves an angular resolution sufficient to image supermassive black holes. 

The incumbent will develop next-generation software systems and pipelines for the correlation, calibration and analysis of VLBI data for the EHT project and future arrays.


 Works with the EHT science community to formulate EHT software requirements and determine technical specifications of new and modified software; conceives and contributes to integration and testing protocols for new and existing data pipelines; designs and codes new software; and coordinates the documentation and maintenance of EHT software. He/she will

  1. Lead investigations into the data calibration and analysis pipeline of the EHT, including the design of data processing frameworks, determination of a formal testing protocol, characterization of uncertainties, and feedback to generate operational protocols to ensure optimal data acquisition.
  2. Assist in the organization, specifications, and production of EHT reduced scientific data products, and support their proper use in downstream analysis.
  3. Develop new algorithms for VLBI data processing and analysis, including correlation, calibration, time domain, and imaging studies.
  4. Support software development and computing best practices across the EHT collaboration.
  5. 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.
  6. Design and conduct astronomical observations for both testing and for original scientific research using EHT data.
  7. 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.
  8. Contribute to the preparation of written reports, observing and funding proposals, white papers, and research articles.
  9. Participate in implementing operational enhancements at EHT sites through integration of software and hardware.


Minimum Education Requirements: A)Degree in one of a combination of astronomy, physics, mathematics, space science or electronics, including course work in differential and integral calculus and 12 semester hours in astronomy or physics; OR

B)A combination of education and experience equivalent to A above including 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.

Grade13: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must possess one year equivalent to the GS-12 which included conducting independent research in the field of

VLBI studies of black holes within the EHT and ngEHT programs.

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 on your online resume.


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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