Postdoctoral Research Associate in Adaptive Optics

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 11 Dec 2023

The Role and Department

The Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) is a large major research group in the Department of Physics at Durham University with approximately seventy staff and research students. CfAI's mission is to design and develop novel instrumentation based on cutting edge technologies. CfAI develops state-of-the-art ground and space-based instruments for applications across a wide range of disciplines including adaptive optics, spectroscopy, biophysics, remote sensing, laser communications, and fusion diagnostics.

CfAI has provided major instruments for many of the world's leading astronomical facilities including the James Webb Space Telescope, William Herschel Telescope, Gemini Telescopes, Southern African Large Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. Major current ground-based instrumentation projects in CfAI include HARMONI and MOSAIC, the first-light spectrograph and multi-object spectrograph for the upcoming 39m diameter Extremely Large Telescope.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position in the Adaptive Optics group in Durham. The role will be focused on the development and modelling of the wide-field ground-layer AO system for the MOSAIC instrument which is currently in its preliminary design phase.

You will be expected to contribute to MOSAIC AO system design with an emphasis on the modelling of the ground-layer AO system performance. This will include modelling and characterising both telescope and instrument effects that can impact system performance but occur on longer timescales than that of typical AO simulations. You will use and extend existing simulation codes to examine the performance of the MOSAIC instrument under a range of atmospheric and telescope configuration. These simulations may include both Monte-Carlo and/or semi-analytical codes. As a member of the MOSAIC AO team, you will join an experienced group of AO scientists and engineers based here in Durham, who will work with you to develop these codes and interpret results.

Through this position you will be making a crucial contribution to the development of this international astronomy facility. This role will suit someone who wishes to gain practical experience of taking novel research outputs and developing technologies from them to the level where they can be incorporated into cutting edge scientific instruments. You will be expected to work in close collaboration with other members of the international MOSAIC consortium who have a wide range of scientific and engineering backgrounds.

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