About the Agency
This is the position of Astrophysicist (Technical Assistant) in the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The purpose of the position is twofold: (1) providing technical support for science planning and operation of the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO), including planning Chandra science observations and participating in the daily operations of the Observatory; (2) providing computer-related support of X-ray astronomy operations and research with the Observatory, including coding, modifying, testing and maintaining software for mission planning; developing and maintaining documentation; and drafting and maintaining materials for websites.
The employee in this position provides technical scientific support of x-ray astronomy research and space observatory operations using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In concert with scientific staff, Technical Assistants plan and schedule observations. The Technical Assistants also are involved in coding, modifying, debugging, and documenting software for mission planning; developing and maintaining databases; drafting and maintaining materials for websites; and participating in the daily operations of the Chandra Observatory. Grade 7: The individual is at the developmental trainee level, where assignments combine performance of work with orientation and supervised on-the-job-training. Assignments are designed to develop the employee for work at a higher level. Grade 9: Duties may include analyzing data and drawing conclusions regarding scientific contents for the data; designing, developing, testing, and modifying new and existing computer code; developing and analyzing algorithms; running software and analyzing data output; mission planning, simulations, and modeling; responding to on-call procedures; developing, maintaining and improving documentation on mission planning procedures; participating actively in teleconferences, meetings, and other communication activities; performing other duties as assigned.