This exciting job opportunity is with the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project HQ located in Pasadena, California. The GMT is being developed by a group of leading university and research centers from across the globe. GMTO Corporation has been formed to design, construct and operate the GMT, which will be located in the Andean mountains at Las Campanas Peak in Chile. The GMT is the next generation astronomical observatory with 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is entering the formal construction phase with scientific operations expected to begin in 2027.
BE A PART OF TRANSFORMING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE
The Adaptive Optics (AO) Scientist will play a lead role in the design, development, integration, and testing of the GMT adaptive and active optics subsystems. This includes simulating AO performance, developing requirements and performance budgets, and building and testing laboratory prototypes and AO testbeds.
The AO Scientist will participate in the 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 GMT AO system at Las Campanas Observatory.
The AO Scientist will work within the Wavefront Sensing and Control group and report directly to the Wavefront Sensing and Control Manager.
• Lead the development of laboratory optical testbeds designed to verify active and adaptive optics control algorithms and end-to-end performance
• Participate in the procurement and testing of AO-related subsystems such as wavefront sensors, calibration sources, real-time computer systems and/or laser guide star systems
• Analyze GMT AO performance using computer simulations and analytical models
• Oversee acceptance tests of AO subsystems, including the adaptive secondary mirror
• Evaluate GMT AO performance during telescope commissioning
• Prepare technical reports to document the GMT AO design and performance
• Prepare and deliver presentations at technical reviews and conferences
Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• A Ph.D. degree in optical science, astronomy, physics, or a related field
• At least three (3) years of experience in the development or use of adaptive optics systems
• Strong analytical skills
• Knowledge of AO theory, modeling techniques, components, and testing methods
• Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor and observatory locations as the need arises.
• Competency using high-level programming languages such as Matlab, IDL, or Python
• Excellent written and oral communication skills in English
• Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Hands-on experience developing and testing astronomical adaptive optics systems or laboratory optical testbeds
• Experience using Zemax, Code V, or similar optical design and analysis tools
Applying: Please send your CV and a Cover Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.