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VLBA Operations Specialist I-II (4794)

Company: Associated Universities, Inc.
Location: Socorro
Posted on: January 26, 2023

Job Description:

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is recruiting an Operations Specialist to join our Operations team at the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) in New Mexico. The Operations Specialist provides skilled technical assistance, under limited supervision, in the execution of astronomical observing programs, basic analysis and correlation of data. The Operations Specialist operates an array of 10 telescopes and the VLBA correlator.Position Description: Position SummaryThe National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is recruiting an Operations Specialist to join our Operations team at the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The Operations Specialist provides skilled technical assistance, under limited supervision, in the execution of astronomical observing programs, basic analysis and correlation of data. The Operations Specialist will be trained to operate VLBA system and will ensuring the acquisition of data from the instrument delivers a high level of data quality while ensuring the safety of personnel and equipment. Candidates with preferred experience and education will be considered for a higher-level Operation Specialist ranking; duties and responsibilities increase with each level. This is a Safety Sensitive position as described in the Position Requirements below.The position is based at the VLBA control center, at the Pete V. Domenici Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM. Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. 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 essential responsibilities of an Operations Specialist include:Operates and monitors one or more telescopes and supporting equipment.Initiates telescope control and prepares the antenna, receivers, clocks, recording systems, and other hardware/software for operation.Receives observing instructions from on-site or remote observers and executes observation programs including but not limited to process incoming observe files, verify against published schedules, annotate files on the observation schedule, execute observation programs, and send pointing results to observers.Aids and accommodate requests from observers, scientific staff, engineers, and technicians in regards to basic commands for telescope controls and data analyst.Monitors readings and alerts on multiple computer screens to detect unsafe equipment conditions and ensure all systems are configured correctly and operating normally.Monitors fringe amplitude readings and data flagging codes to check data quality.Performs system tests to measure values used to finely tune each antenna.Takes prescribed actions to protect telescope equipment i.e. weather conditions exceed operating parameters.Troubleshoots and takes corrective action when errors and faults occur.Makes necessary personnel call-outs when equipment safety is compromised and/or when major problems occur.Maintains an accurate observing log of failures, abnormal conditions, significant events, equipment status changes, procedural changes, or special instructions from observers or staff.Writes detailed maintenance reports for hardware and software problems.Reviews and revises existing operating procedures. Develops procedures and schematics for new equipment based on technical information supplied by engineers or supervisors.May develop technical reports to describe operating characteristics, abnormal conditions, and functional limitations.Provides input/feedback on related and proposed hardware/software developments/issues and assist in troubleshooting any detected problems.Reviews operator's status screens and other tools, recommends improvements and documents changes as needed.Acts as liaison for array software including testing of new programs, providing feedback to the programming staff, training operators in new procedures and providing documentation.Troubleshoots array system issues; assists scientists, programmers, and engineers with solutions.Manages/creates the correlator queue efficiently, appropriately balancing the priorities of observing and correlator functions.Ensures data disc packs are properly handled and stored during and after usage.Additional responsibilities of an Operations Specialist II include:Provides training for Operators and others. Update training manual.Represents the division at inter-division meetings as required.May write scripts used by operators to batch upload documents to the web, and generate system stress tests for staff review. Develops procedures and schematics for new equipment based on technical information supplied by engineers or supervisors.Work EnvironmentThe Operations Specialist will work as part of a team that supports a 24 hour / 7-day rotating shift pattern consisting of day, evening and night shifts. A typical workweek for VLBA is 5/8hr days or a combination of 8hr and 12hr shifts with days off between shift changes. The work is indoors at a console with multiple computer terminals. Operators must be available for emergency call out and may be required to work overtime to cover vacant shifts or in emergencies until relieved.Position Requirements: Minimum EducationAssociate's degree (A. A.) or equivalent from an accredited two-year college or technical school with training in math, physics, science or a related technical field. Preferred EducationBachelor's Degree in a related field.Preferred ExperienceThree or more years of experience in operating an industrial-sized astronomical telescope preferred. Competency SummaryMust be able to follow procedures and policies, be able to handle emergencies calmly, able to express themselves clearly both verbally and in writing, be attentive to detail, and able to work well with others, sometimes in stressful situations. Must be able to operate a computer using process control software applications, and able to use a Windows computer and word processing and spreadsheet software. Must have experience with a LINUX/UNIX operating environment. Must have demonstrated ability to read and interpret documents such as schematics, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.Physical RequirementsThe physical demands and the work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Specific vision requirements include close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The employee must be able to hear instructions and warnings. All Operators must be available for emergency call out and may be required to work extended shifts of up to 14 hours, when needed. Hearing acuity is required in order to perform work safely and visual acuity is required to read and understand written/graphic/data material on a computer screen and determine colors displayed on a computer monitor. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.Additional RequirementThe Observatory requires staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to access our facilities. An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination. A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief.Safety SensitiveThe selected candidate must successfully pass a post-offer, pre-employment/pre-placement drug screen. Failure to pass the Screen will disqualify the candidate from employment consideration for a period of six months from the date of the results. Application Instructions: Please select the "Apply" button below. You will need to be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position.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 .The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.PM20

Keywords: Associated Universities, Inc., Albuquerque , VLBA Operations Specialist I-II (4794), Other , Socorro, New Mexico

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