Research Associate in Radio Polarimetry Techniques

The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is seeking a  Research Associate in Radio Polarimetry Techniques to support the DRAO  Radio Astronomy group within the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics  (HAA) Research Centre.

DRAO is Canada’s national facility for radio astronomy. Astronomers  and engineers work closely together to design and build innovative  radio telescopes, and use radio telescopes at DRAO and elsewhere to  conduct frontline research.

The John A. Galt 26-m Telescope at DRAO conducts large surveys of  radio emission from the Milky Way Galaxy. The scientists at DRAO are  world experts in studying magnetic fields in interstellar space by  means of inspecting the polarization of radio waves received from  space. Polarization is the tendency of an electric field to have a  non-random orientation when averaged over time. Magneto-optic effects  such as Faraday rotation and Zeeman splitting can imprint polarized  signatures on interstellar radio emission; the detection of these  polarized fingerprints can allow astronomers to measure magnetic  fields between the stars.

Polarized radio signals from interstellar space are very weak and the  telescope itself alters the polarization state of the incoming  radiation.  DRAO has access to sophisticated electromagnetic  simulation software (CST and GRASP 10) that will be used to produce  detailed computations of the polarized antenna response.

Based on the applicant’s understanding of polarization and antennas,  the Research Associate will use GRASP to compute antenna response, and  will use the techniques of radiative transfer to predict the polarized  response of the 26-m Galt Telescope and of the 18-m offset reflector  being designed for the NRAO ngVLA project.  This work will be used to  simulate how the polarization states of incoming radiation leak into  one another in the large-scale response of these telescopes. The  Research Associate will write articles to be published in refereed  scientific or engineering journals detailing the techniques used and  the comparison between the predicted and measured polarization  response of each telescope.

The NRC is a partner in a number of extant and future radio arrays  including the DRAO Synthesis Telescope, ALMA, the SKA, and ngVLA. The  results from this study will be directly applicable to the modelling  of the polarized beam response of these arrays and will be an integral  component of an antenna optics modelling effort that DRAO would like  to develop.

The successful candidate will have:

* Significant experience in conducting original scientific or  engineering research, demonstrated by published papers in the refereed  scientific or engineering literature.
* Significant experience in electromagnetic simulation or modelling.
* Basic experience with radio instrumentation and/or antennas.
* Basic experience with radio interferometry/aperture synthesis  and/or single-dish instrumental polarization.
* Coursework in electromagnetic wave propagation.
* Ability to write software in a scientific programming language.

It will be an asset for the candidate to have had:

* Coursework or research experience in antenna theory.
* Experience with CST, GRASP or equivalent antenna modelling software.

The initial appointment is of two years duration, which may be  extended (subject to performance and availability of funds). The  hiring is at the postdoctoral level and the candidate will be  remunerated based on expertise, skill, outcomes, and impacts of their  previous work experience.

Applicants must have received a Ph.D. in astronomy, astrophysics,  physics, or electrical engineering within the last five years or  expect to receive the degree within the next six months.

As an employer that values the diversity of its workforce, the NRC  will give priority to applicants who have self-identified as members  of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities,  Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.

NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive  health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, paid maternity  and parental leave, relocation assistance, vacation and other leave  entitlements.
Included Benefits:

NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive  health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, paid maternity  and parental leave, relocation assistance, vacation and other leave  entitlements.

Related URLs:

Vous pouvez obtenir ces renseignements en français:

Information on the staff and their research interests:

Further information on the NRC’s Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics  Research Center (NRC-HAA):

Application Deadline: Monday, November 16, 2020

See full poster and apply HERE:


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