SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is the largest airborne observatory in the world, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes. The aircraft is an extensively modified Boeing 747SP carrying a reflecting telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters (100 inches). The observatory is based at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, manages SOFIA's science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA; Columbia, Md.) and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI; University of Stuttgart).
SOFIA's instruments — cameras, spectrometers, and photometers — operate in the near-, mid- and far-infrared wavelengths, some better suited to studying a particular phenomena, while others are general purpose but capable of acquiring data simultaneously with another instrument.
The SOFIA team is in need of a Software Engineer to design, develop, analyze, modify and maintain scientific data processing pipelines and associated software tools. The pipeline software engineer will also support manual reduction of data, quality assurance assessments of the pipeline products, and archiving of the data products. The pipeline engineer will work under the direction of the DPS software development lead, who assigns tasks in coordination with the AD of Scientific Data.
- Independently conceptualize and design pipeline solutions including new algorithms, bug fixes, and improvements / upgrades to meet needs of SOFIA program.
- Build, deploy, and verify the pipelines solutions in production and test environments; support the pipeline and instrument scientists during verification and validation activities.
- Integrate and test pipelines within the DPS architecture; support any design, implementation, and testing activities for upgrades to the DPS pipeline Architecture.
- Document system builds and application configurations; maintain and update documentation as needed.
- Maintain pipeline software and pipeline algorithms.
- Support and test the pipelines and pipeline algorithms, manual reduction of data, quality assurance assessments, and archiving of the data.
- Support pipeline scientists using the data processing database for calibration and re-processing activities.
- Follow team software development methodology.
- May also serve as project leader and mentor other software engineers.
- Ensure the protection of NASA intellectual property with respect to commercial and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) concerns through disclosures, patent applications, and adherence to NASA’s scientific and technical information dissemination guidelines.
- Complete required trainings as scheduled.
- Other job related duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, physics/astronomy, or a related science/engineering field or equivalent, or combination of education and relevant experience.
- Degree or minor in Physics / Astronomy highly desired.
- Experience with Python and / or IDL required.
- Experience with UNIX shell scripting, and Java is a plus.
- Experience developing data reduction pipelines required.
- At least 2 years of software development experience in science applications or related area.
- Experience in astronomy related software position highly desired.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
- Expertise in designing, developing, testing, and deploying applications.
- Proficiency with application design and data modeling.
- Strong technical knowledge of Python and / or IDL with an ability to select, adapt, and effectively use a variety of programming methods.
- Ability to define and solve logical problems for highly technical applications.
- Ability to independently develop schedules with detailed milestones and complete projects as assigned on schedule.
- Ability to work effectively and professionally in a team environment (co-workers, customers, and supervisors).
- Excellent written and verbal communication in English is required with an ability to write routine reports and correspondence, speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.
- Ability to lead activities on structured team development projects.
- Ability to effectively utilize MS Office suite: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint.