Job Overview


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.