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Scientist or Software Engineer IV, Data Transmission and Archive (4738)

Company: National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Location: Charlottesville
Posted on: November 26, 2022

Job Description:

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Position Description: Position SummaryJoin the design and development team creating the software architecture for the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The ngVLA project is a transformational radio telescope array with more than 200 radio telescope antennas throughout North America. The project received strong endorsement from the National Academy of Sciences Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Astro2020). The successful candidate will be responsible for the development, design and implementation of the ngVLA Archive and data stores.We are seeking a Research Scientist or experienced Software Engineer to join the ngVLA Computing and Software (CSW) Integrated Product Team (IPT) and to work jointly with Data Management and Software (DMS) Division within NRAO. Initially, the position will be to understand the data ingestion, transmission, and storage needs of the ngVLA project, which is significantly larger in scope than any other NRAO projects. The applicant will analyze and identify gaps in the ngVLA requirements, conduct a systematic trade study of existing technologies, and create an in-house design of a data transmission and archive storage system to be used in the software architecture for ngVLA. As ngVLA moves into the construction phase, the successful candidate must be able to transition to implementing the adopted design.The successful applicant will have the opportunity to contribute to the next generation of data processing architecture for the ngVLA telescope. The potential exists to lead significant design and architectural decisions by interfacing with colleagues at other big data institutions, prototyping storage and software technologies, closely collaborating with other scientists and engineers at NRAO contributing to the design of the ngVLA software, and realizing a full implementation of the Archive during the construction phase.If appointed as Scientist (with a PhD), the successful candidate will also receive 25% of their time for self-directed research. Appointments as Software Engineer IV will not have self-directed research time. In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. NRAOs retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participants base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.Job Duties SummaryThe successful applicant will join the DMS software team, funded through the ngVLA telescope. The primary responsibility is the design and development of data transmission and storage for the ngVLA. Initially this position will focus on understanding the requirements and use cases of the ngVLA telescope and the impact on data transmission and storage. The successful applicant will then conduct trade studies of existing technologies by building collaborations with institutions with similar goals, understanding their design choices, and making recommendations of the suitably of existing technologies for the ngVLA telescope. Finally, the successful applicant is expected to provide a custom, in-house design to meet ngVLA needs as possible alternatives to commercial technologies. This design can be based on new technology developed specifically for ngVLA and/or a hybrid design combining new technology and commercially available options. The successful applicant will provide cost and budget impacts of the various design options.Collaborating with the software architects and system engineers within DMS and ngVLA is an integral part of the role, as the design choices regarding data storage and transmission are directly tied to the next generation data architecture as a whole. Longer term, this position will grow to encompass the implementation of the architecture design during the construction phase of the ngVLA telescope.ResponsibilitiesThe successful applicant will:

  • Understand and document data transmission and storage requirements and use cases
  • Identify gaps within the current requirements and work to further refine them
  • Understand strategic goals and software architectures within NRAO
  • Build collaborations with institutions with similar needs and goals
  • Conduct a trade study of existing technologies and how they could be used for the ngVLA telescope
  • Create an in-house design of data transmission and storage for possible use by the ngVLA telescope that aligns with DMS initiatives
  • Provide cost and budget assessments for different storage solutions
  • Work with software engineers, database experts, and system architects to implement the adopted design during the construction phase.
  • Closely collaborate with other software and system architects within DMS and ngVLA
  • Liaise with other teams and departments to ensure that team goals and vision align with those of DMS and ngVLA, while promoting collaborative relationships and cultureWork EnvironmentThis position will be located at one of the NRAO facilities in Charlottesville (VA), Socorro (NM), or Albuquerque (NM). The successful candidate will join a team of professionals engaged in research and development in the fields of science, engineering, software development, and education. Work is typically performed in a research or development environment.Position Requirements: Minimum EducationBachelors degree in computer science, engineering, scientific or related field; PhD in related field for consideration for scientific appointment.Minimum ExperienceAt leastseven years of experience in data transmission, storage, design and implementation. Consideration for a scientific appointment, at least six years of experience as a scientific staff member or equivalent experience in data transmission, storage, design and implementationCompetencies
    • Strong knowledge of data transmission, storage, and back-up systems
    • Demonstrated experience in end-to-end data management, governance, acquisition, modeling, storage, and access with various tools and technologies
      • Demonstrated experience with databases
      • Experience with data modeling tools
      • Familiar with latest trends in data storage, backup strategies, and network strategies
      • Hands-on experience building scalable systems
      • Experience developing software applications
      • Familiarity developing software in Python or Java
      • Experience with version control software and testing methodologies
      • Experience debugging and profiling software systems
        • Strong interpersonal and communications skills
        • Experience working with large, existing applications in a distributed team
        • Will to travel internationally and work at high altitudesPreferred Competencies
          • Strong software development skills in Python or Java
          • Scripting experience with Bash
          • Experience with machine learning or data mining
          • Understanding of object-oriented programming concepts
          • Linux system administration experience
          • Familiarity with basic astronomical principles, in particular interferometry, and observatory operations
          • Ability to work with international colleaguesApplication Instructions: Software Engineer Applicants:Please Click the Apply button below. You will need to be prepared to upload your current CV/ Resume and a letter describing your interest and suitability for the position. Assistant Scientist Applicants:You will need the following materials, combined in a single pdf file to upload to the ADD RESUME button at the beginning of the application process:
          • Cover letter stating why you are interested in this position the letter should describe how you match the position and qualifications summarized above (no more than 3 pages).
          • Curriculum vitae including publications list.
          • Summary of past technical and observational experience relevant to this position (2 pages).
          • Summary of past research (2 pages).
          • Plan for future research describing specifically use of, and synergies with, NRAO facilities and observatory goals and priorities (3 pages).Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to PM20
            The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)


Keywords: National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville , Scientist or Software Engineer IV, Data Transmission and Archive (4738), Other , Charlottesville, Virginia

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