Job Description

Optical Engineer
Contract 20 hours weekly, 3+ years

Hybrid, Remote

Active TS Clearance

Designs, models, analyzes, and tests optical, electro-optical, and opto-mechanical systems and components, including sensors, lasers, fiber-optics, and telecommunications products. Conducts research and development into phases of physical optics and geometric optics, lasers, laser characteristics, laser maintenance, and broadband optical sources. Applies research of complex optical systems to achieve desired optical outcomes. Develops component specifications, tolerances, simulations and tests procedures for electro-optical systems and components. Uses design-to-cost models, six sigma methodology, and other methods to assure and verify optical design requirements are met.

he Advanced Capabilities and Technologies Group develops technologies and techniques for space control, space surveillance missions, as well as terrestrial applications. The group's principal efforts include (1) the development of novel optical interferometry systems for enhanced resolution and atmospheric mitigation; (2) development of advanced satellite systems in support of the space surveillance mission; (3) operation of an extensive observational program utilizing optical space surveillance technology to search for and discover near-Earth asteroids at the Laboratory's field site near Socorro, New Mexico, (which has discovered more than 50% of the known asteroids in our solar system); and (4) advanced applications focused on data fusion and information extraction. The group's current research activities span a broad range of topics, including novel visible and infrared optical systems, optical interferometry, and computational imaging and analytics, advanced image processing algorithms and techniques, and evaluation of technologies for new space systems. The group seeks researchers and technologists from a wide variety of disciplines including physics, astronomy and mathematics as well as the applied sciences (electrical, mechanical, aeronautical and astronautical engineering).

Principal endeavor is to model and design sensors for electro-optic space surveillance for small and distant space objects. Such objects are to be detected from reflected sunlight and laser illumination in the visible, UV, and near IR bands, and from thermal emission in IR bands, from ground, airborne, and space-based sensors.

-Candidate must be familiar with phenomenology encountered during observations including atmospheric and space background spectral radiance in visible, UV, and IR bands, atmospheric spectral transmittance in these bands, and ionizing radiation encountered in space environments.
-Candidate must publish technical reports in observational astronomy.
-Candidate must be familiar with latest sensor technology for visible, UV, and IR imagers applicable, and must be able to work with optical designers for lenses and telescopes, electronic designers for sensor electronics, and cryogenic engineers for required cooling of sensors.
-Candidate must have relevant observational experience at an optical site for surveillance of space objects in visible and in IR bands.
-Ph.D degree in astronomy, physics, or electrical engineering

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