Software Engineer

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA

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Job Summary

The Caltech radio astronomy group is seeking a Software Engineer to work on the DSA-2000 project, a world-leading telescope that is currently in the late design phase. The array will use 2000 radio antennas operating in the 0.7 - 2 GHz frequency range to survey the skies 10x faster than any radio telescope current or planned. With “first light” in 2026, the telescope will conduct a broad range of research, including the study of the formation of galaxies and supermassive black holes, the search for cosmic explosions, and investigations into the nature of gravity. The instrument will produce 42 Terabits of data per second which will be processed in real time by a “radio camera” that is supported by a computer cluster built around thousands of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). 

The candidate will fulfill the role of a Software Engineer for the DSA-2000 project. The candidate will be the lead engineer for the fast time domain (FTD) subsystem of the project. The FTD subsystem will enable a world-leading, near real time search for pulsars and fast radio bursts; the discovery of pulsars, and the discovery of the spin-down of a binary pulsar system due to gravitational radiation, were both awarded Nobel prizes. The role involves the design, implementation, and testing of GPU computer kernels, and associated host code, for the FTD real-time pipeline. Particular challenges include high-throughput beamforming via a Fourier transform approach, the removal of the effects of interstellar and intergalactic dispersion, and pulsar candidate identification.

The candidate will be based at the Caltech campus. This role includes opportunities for growth through wide-ranging interactions within the world-leading Caltech astronomy department and with a range of close external collaborators, and mentorship within the group. 

Essential Job Duties     

  • Responsible for the design, implementation, and testing of GPU computer kernels, and associated host code, for the FTD real-time pipeline.
  • Will make recommendations on the requirements for FTD hardware design, and on the design of the experimental setup. 
  • Will work in close collaboration with Prof. Vikram Ravi and his group, and key DSA-2000 personnel both local and remote, in a team-based environment.
  • Will travel to OVRO, as needed, to collaborate with and learn from engineering staff. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Basic Qualifications     

  • PhD in Astrophysics or related discipline (science/engineering/math).
  • More than five years hands-on programming experience in CUDA C++.
  • Experience working in a scientific collaboration. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Exposure to low-level network programming.
  • Experience with Linux systems.
  • Expertise in Python. 

Required Documents    

  • Resume 
  • Cover letter 
  • Contact details of 3 references 

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