NuSTAR Calibration and Operations Scientist

Job Summary

Scientific / Technical Staff
Space Radiation Lab
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The Space Radiation Laboratory (SRL) at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is soliciting applications for a Calibration and Operations Scientist to support the ongoing science operations of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission ( NuSTAR is a NASA small explorer astrophysics space telescope, launched in 2012 into low Earth orbit, that is providing the astronomical community with a unique capability to investigate the high energy X-ray Universe. 

The position is based in the NuSTAR Science Operations Center (SOC) located on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, CA. The SOC is responsible for the calibration, planning and safe use of telescope time to perform observations of astronomical sources of X-rays, often in coordination with other space- and ground-based observatories. We are looking for a new team member to participate in data analysis of calibration observations and the generation of regular updates to the NuSTAR calibration files used by the community for scientific data reduction, and in the generation of observing plans and data quality assurance analysis.

Essential Job Duties

As the NuSTAR Calibration and Operations Scientist, the successful candidate will report to the SOC Manager at Caltech and the Lead NuSTAR Calibration Scientist and duties will include:

  • Supporting the calibration team in the planning of calibration observations and reduction of calibration data.
  • Working with the calibration team to update instrument response files.
  • Working with the SOC Manager to generate weekly observing schedules.
  • Performing data quality assurance analysis of guest investigator observations.
  • Participating in regular science and mission operations meetings.
  • As a member of the NuSTAR team, the successful candidate will be expected to participate in all science operations activities as required.

Basic Qualifications

  • PhD in astronomy, physics, or closely related field.
  • Three years’ experience post-degree in X-ray data analysis and interpretation.
  • Good written and interpersonal communication skills, with an emphasis on the ability to share ideas in a collaborative setting. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with NuSTAR data analysis.
  • Experience with instrument or observatory calibration.
  • Experience with scientific software development (i.e., python and astropy-based tools as well as HEASoft tools). 

Required Documents

  • Resume/CV
  • Cover Letter

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Range
$66,600USD to $103,300USD
Included Benefits

As one of the largest employers in Pasadena, CA, Caltech is committed to providing comprehensive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Our benefits package includes competitive compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement savings plans, generous paid time off (vacation, holidays, sick time, parental leave, bereavement, etc.), tuition reimbursement, and more. Non-benefit eligible employees will have access to some benefits such as onsite counseling and sick time.


We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at [email protected]

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2024 Feb 24
Application Deadline
2024 Apr 30


Kendall Kleinberg