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RAP opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory     NRL

Optical Sensor Development for Astrophysics


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Space Science

opportunity location
64.15.89.C0632 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Teddy CC Cheung 202.404.7202
Marc Christophersen 202.404.2884


This opportunity combines NRL Space Science Division programs in nano-fabrication and observational astrophysics being pursued in parallel to develop optical sensors for astronomy applications. Sensors combining multi-spectral imaging, polarization, and/or high-timing resolution capabilities are particularly desirable, in order to characterize astrophysical variables and transient sources. The candidate will have the opportunity to participate in any or all aspects from design, fabrication, and data acquisition and analysis.

Prospective candidates interested in nano-fabrication can participate in the following. Focal plane devices fabricated using facilities at the NRL NanoScience Institute (NSI) include Fabry-Perot etalons for multi-spectral imaging and on-chip micropolarizers. Design and fabrication of flat lens optics operating in the infrared/optical to ultraviolet are also pursued. The candidate can contribute to filter and lens design, numerical modeling of device performance, and in-lab data acquisition from prototype devices and commercially-available sensors. Methods utilized include electron beam lithography, metal reactive ion etching, and use of optical scanning equipment. Experience in these or similar methods are desirable though not required; if needed, the candidate can gain experience in these skills as an NRC associate.

Optical high-energy astrophysics research being pursued as part of this program involve monitoring and characterization of galactic and extragalactic variables and transients. Prior experience in astronomical data acquisition, calibration, and analysis, involving spectroscopy, multi-band photometry, or polarimetry are desirable, particularly in an observatory setting. The candidate can participate in acquiring data from and testing prototype devices and related (multi-spectral, spectrometers, event-based, polarization, and/or high-timing resolution) commercially-available sensors mounted on small (8-inch to 16-inch) telescopes, ultimately aimed for remote operation.

key words
Astronomy; Astrophysics; Nano-fabrication; Optical astronomy; Ultraviolet astronomy; Telescopes; Spectral Imaging; Spectroscopy; Event-based Sensing; Polarimetry; Flat lens optics; Active galactic nuclei; Extragalactic astronomy; Gamma-ray bursts; Galactic astronomy; Novae; High-energy Astrophysics; Software


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$94,199.00 $3,000.00
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