Postdoc position in LOFAR long-baseline development and implementation (Bonn)
LOFAR www.lofar.org is an innovative, low-frequency, multi-station aperture array telescope that is using new technologies and novel software approaches. LOFAR has entered its commissioning phase and started producing unique data in the relatively unexplored spectral window below 200 MHz.
The Argelander-Institute for Astronomy at the University of Bonn is offering a (max.) three-year postdoc/software developer position for long-baseline calibration development and implementation to start as soon as possible. The international baselines of LOFAR require special calibration schemes that are not fully included in the general calibration pipeline, yet. Sophisticated fringe-fitting methods that take into account the special polarisation properties of the system have to be developed for this purpose. Current algorithms have to be extended and added to the calibration pipeline.
Contributing to these efforts will be part of the project. Despite the emphasis of technical development work, unique science projects will be possible as well. Particularly the long baselines of LOFAR are probing an entirely new parameter space with many important discoveries to be expected. LOFAR has already improved the resolution of low-frequency VLBI imaging by an order of magnitude. Appointees are expected to spend 50% of their time on astronomical research (which would preferably be related to LOFAR) and 50% on development work.
Relevant qualifications are experience in radio interferometry beyond the bare user level, particularly on very long baselines, a mathematical understanding of the methods involved, and programming expertise. This experience should generally be proven by a PhD in astronomy, physics or another relevant field, even though a Master's degree may be sufficient in particular cases. The ability to work independently but in cooperation with an international team of astronomers and developers, as well as excellent communication skills and a good command of the English language are essential.
Applications (preferably by email) should include a CV, a statement of interests and experience, the prefered starting date, and three letters of reference. Applicants of any nationality are eligible to apply. The University of Bonn is an equal opportunities employer. Deadline for full consideration is 15 October 2011. Applications may still be accepted until the position is filled.
The remuneration is based on a public pay scale (generally TV-L/E13) and subject to age and experience. Comprehensive benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, parental leave, and social security benefits (contributions to unemployment and health insurance as well as retirement scheme).
This project is part of wider LOFAR efforts by a consortium of astronomical institutes in Germany. Positions in other fields (to be announced on the AAS job register in September) are available as well. Applicants who would like to have their application considered also for other locations should state this in the cover letter.
More information is available on request.
Dr. Olaf Wucknitz
Argelander-Institute for Astronomy
Auf dem Huegel 71