AURA Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
May 16, 2018
Full Time - Experienced
Years of Experience:
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.
Under construction in Chile, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is an 8.4-meter telescope. This large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope will survey half of the sky every few nights in six optical bands with its 3.2 gigapixel camera. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, including probing the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and following the evolution of rapidly changing objects such as exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, and distant Kuiper Belt Objects.
The LSST Telescope and Site Group (T&S) is preparing for final acceptance testing and telescope integration activities for the LSST optical system. Reporting to the T&S Project Manager, the on-site Senior Optics Lead will function as the principal optical engineer for the T&S Group, be responsible for the assembly and integration of the mirror systems, and lead the full characterization of the telescope optical system. Efforts will focus on evaluating and analyzing the performance of the telescope optical systems, verifying error budgets, confirming alignment techniques, and evaluating and refining the integrated optical system active controls. Subsequent work activities will include a leadership role in integration of a subscale camera system to support initial observatory commissioning, integration of the full science camera to enable system science verification and closed-loop control, and ultimately full system verification testing to support the transition to survey operations.
Job Responsibilities and Duties:
The LSST optical system is comprised of two active mirror systems: the 8.4-meter primary/tertiary mirror (M1M3) and the 3.4-meter secondary mirror (M2). These mirror systems are actively supported, controlled and aligned via complex mirror cell assemblies. Both systems are in fabrication and are well advanced into final assembly, test and acceptance. The M1M3 Cell Assembly work is currently being performed in Tucson, AZ (using a full scale surrogate mirror). Work will conclude with integrated optical testing at the University of Arizona’s Richard Caris Mirror Laboratory (RCML) in late 2018 to verify the mirror control system. The system will be packaged and shipped to arrive in Chile in early 2019. Work on the M2 Cell Assembly is being performed by Harris Corporation in Rochester, NY, with integrated optical testing and shipment to Chile in late 2018.
As the mirror systems arrive on the summit in Chile, the Senior Optics Lead will work with the M1M3 Manager, M2 Manager, and Assembly, Integration, and Verification (AIV) Manager to supervise integration of the mirror assemblies. Working closely with the AIV Manager and Coating Manager, processes will be developed and defined to verify interfaces and alignment procedures with the coating plant system. Working closely with the T&S Chief Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) Manager, the Senior Optics Lead will be responsible for getting the M1M3 and M2 assemblies integrated into the TMA with surrogate mirrors to confirm all interfaces and verify dynamic performance requirements of the active control systems.
Successful dynamic testing of both support systems with surrogates will permit the cell assemblies to be removed from the TMA to support glass mirror integration. This position will have a leadership role in the integration of the M1M3 mirror into its Cell Assembly and then be optically coated within the support facility. Working closely with the T&S Project Scientist, who leads the full Active Optics System Development, and overall telescope integration team, this position will participate and provide leadership in the installation and testing of the 3-mirror optical system (M1M3 and M2). Testing will include laser tracker, interferometry, imaging, and wavefront sensing technology to properly align and measure the mirror positions and figure qualities to confirm performance requirements.
Subsequent work tasks will include a leadership role in integration of a subscale camera system to support initial observatory commissioning, integration of the full science camera to enable system science verification, and ultimately full system verification testing to support the transition to survey operations. The position will also provide optical engineering support and oversight to calibration and commissioning equipment as the principal optical engineer of the T&S team. This position will start based out of Tucson, Arizona and then relocate to Chile in early 2019. While based in Tucson, travel may be required to La Serena, Chile, and various vendor sites; once the position moves to Chile, travel may be required to the United States and various vendor sites.
The Senior Optics Lead will perform the following activities:
Broad support of optical engineering analysis (optical design, as-built re-optimization, sensitivity analysis, stray light, etc.) assignments as required.
Support to the M2 Cell Assembly, working with the M2 Manager to coordinate summit assembly and telescope integration.
Responsible for the integration of the M1M3 Cell Assembly on the summit, working with the M1M3 Manager.
Lead effort to verify coating plant interfaces with M2 and M1M3 systems and confirm mirror support systems on Telescope Mount Assembly with surrogate mirrors.
Oversee the integration and optical coating of the M1M3 mirror on the summit.
Provide support to development of integration and test procedures on the summit for initial three-mirror telescope testing, commissioning camera testing, and integration and testing of the science camera to lead to full system verification and transition to survey operations.
In collaboration with the Systems Engineer, maintain and update requirements, specifications, interface documents, and drawings in relation to the telescope optical subsystems.
Document preparation and preparation of technical reports to capture the design and performance of optical subsystems.
Preparing and presenting programmatic and technical status at reviews and conferences as required.
Work effectively with coworkers and others by sharing ideas in a constructive, positive manner; listening to and objectively considering ideas and suggestions from others; keeping commitments; keeping others informed of work progress and issues; addressing problems and issues constructively to find mutually acceptable and practical solutions; and respecting the diversity of the LSST workforce in actions, words, and deeds.
Maintain commitment to a high standard of safety, comply with all safety laws and LSST safety policies/rules, and communicate actual and potential safety concerns to appropriate supervisory or management personnel to further LSST’s core value of safety.
Master’s Degree in Engineering, or equivalent combination of education and experience, with strong preference to knowledge or experience in optics.
Ability to operate in exposed environment, at remote mountain top location.
Minimum 10 years’ experience in the design and construction of precision, active opto-mechanical systems, with strong preference to ground based telescope optical systems.
Demonstrated leadership qualities and management skills, with ability to coordinate and direct others.
Proficient in use of Zemax; skills in other optical design, analysis, and opto-mechanical tools beneficial (Code V, FRED, SolidWorks).
Knowledge of optical metrology, interferometry, wavefront sensing, and imaging devices.
Familiarity with laser trackers and laser tracker technology beneficial.
Knowledge of telescope observatory operations, maintenance, and safety procedures beneficial.
English speaking with knowledge of Spanish.
Bilingual in English and Spanish beneficial.
Ability to cooperate and coordinate with others at all levels in completing responsibilities.
Ability and willingness to travel to foreign and domestic locations during the construction and final acceptance phases.
Good computer skills with office productivity software for e-mail, word processing and spreadsheets.
Problem solving - the individual identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner and gathers and analyzes information skillfully.
Interpersonal Skills - the individual maintains confidentiality, remains open to others’ ideas and exhibits willingness to try new things.
Oral communications - the individual speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations.
Written Communication - the individual edits work for spelling and grammar, presents numerical data effectively and is able to read and interpret written information.
Planning/organizing - the individual prioritizes and plans work activities, uses time efficiently and develops realistic action plans.
Quality control - the individual demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness and monitors own work to ensure quality and is detail oriented.
Adaptability - the individual adapts to changes in the work environment, manages competing demands and is able to deal with frequent change, delays or unexpected events.
Dependability - the individual is consistently at work and on time, follows instructions, responds to management direction and solicits feedback to improve performance.
Safety and security - the individual actively promotes and personally observes safety and security procedures, and uses equipment and materials properly.
AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at http://www.aura-astronomy.org/diversity.asp
As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our record keeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.
Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation.
Internal Number: SENIO02812
About AURA Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.