Radio Observatory Research Engineer

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 15 Apr 2023

We are looking for two Research Engineers for Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory, Finland.

Metsähovi Radio Observatory is Finland's only astronomical radio observatory. We operate several radio telescopes and other radio-frequency equipment to carry out astronomical observations literally 24/7, every day of the year. Our specialities include long-term radio monitoring of active galactic nuclei and the Sun at millimetre-wavelengths, and we frequently participate in Very Long Baseline Interferometric (VLBI) observations in global radio telescope networks. The main frequencies range from 22 to 86 GHz (with observing capabilities up to 150 GHz) for the main 14-m radio telescope, with other antennas operating between 50 MHz and 12 GHz.

Your role and goals

Your main responsibilities will be to commission, maintain and develop, and manage instruments and systems related to transforming cosmic radio waves into data. Depending on your skills and expertise, this could involve radio-astronomical receivers, backends, signal transport, VLBI, or some other central parts of radio-astronomical systems. The work demands independence, initiative, and the ability to solve problems in many technical areas.

You will work as part of the technical team, and ability to collaborate within the work group as well as with external parties is a requirement. Advancing to a team-leading / supervisory role is also possible. Participation in hands-on teaching is encouraged, and the possibility for your own research can be negotiated.


We expect at least a master’s degree or equivalent experience in electrical engineering or other relevant field. Clear and efficient spoken and written English is required. The duties include working at the radio telescopes’ receiver platforms, and requires the ability to climb to and operate at heights up to 10 metres.

It is essential that the candidate has experience with at least one of the following:

  • Radio instrumentation for astronomy
  • Radio science and engineering, from design and specification to operations and maintenance
  • Signal processing, at hardware and software level
  • Experience in Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) instrumentation and measurements

Experience or skill with any of the following is considered advantageous:

  • Millimetre-wave optics and RF systems
  • Electronics and electronics design
  • Servo controls and motion control systems, especially for radio telescopes
  • Installation and commissioning of radio astronomical instrumentation
  • Assembly and troubleshooting of electrical and electronic systems
  • RF systems in general, including radio circuits, software defined radio, RFSoC, etc
  • Electrical safety certification

The final job descriptions will depend on the applicants and the skills and experience they have.

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