Los Alamos National Laboratory Optical Sensing Scientist 2 / 3 (Scientist 2 / 3) in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the Scientist 2/Scientist 3 level, depending on the skills of the selected candidate. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if the candidate is hired at the higher level.

The Space and Remote Sensing Group (ISR-2) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking qualified scientists to participate in the execution of our innovative portfolio of optical remote sensing programs. These programs include: ground based sky surveillance; ultra-low-light imaging including advanced photon counting detectors; space situational awareness; satellite-based instrumentation; a wide range of astrophysics studies focusing on explosive transient phenomena such as gamma-ray bursts and supernovae; and development, deployment, and operation of novel optical sensors and robotic instrumentation. Areas of research and development the successful candidate will participate in include one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Design of innovative optical sensors and instruments using both improved concepts based on demonstrated principles and the development of new detection principles

  • Development and field deployment of complete autonomous hardware/software systems for sky surveillance, space situational awareness, and other applications

  • Development of algorithms and techniques for optical imaging and time-series data, removal of instrumental signatures, signal detection and characterization, and high-level statistical inference in data intensive settings

  • The design, execution, and analysis of broad area searches in large collections of static and streaming data coupled with autonomous follow-up of interesting targets

  • Source-to-sensor modeling, including modeling of source physics, signal propagation, sensor performance, and the validation of the data processing and analysis algorithms

  • Astro-dynamical modeling and prediction, including initial orbit determination, orbit propagation, and simulation of observing geometry

  • Scientific and statistical analysis of data coupled with theoretical modeling and understanding the underlying emission and propagation physics

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Scientist 2 ($87,800 - $144,800)

  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with conducting basic and/or applied scientific research that is relevant to one or more of the above programs and focus areas

  • Some combination of experience with applied mathematics, scientific data analysis, and the practical use of numerical algorithms (imaging, time-series, spectral, etc.)

  • Some experience with applied computing to process, analyze, and interpret optical data, and demonstrable knowledge of one or more scientific programming languages (e.g. C/C++, Python, Matlab, IDL)

  • Demonstrated ability to work and interact effectively in a team environment

  • Demonstrated ability to express ideas clearly in written and oral communications. Demonstration can include a history of contributing to scientific reports or papers in peer reviewed science journals, and can also include non-peer reviewed publications (e.g. technical reports and briefings to sponsors)

  • Ability to conduct field experiments at various national and potentially international locations.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance (generally requires U.S. citizenship)

Scientist 3 ($96,600 - $161,300)

Additional Job Requirements for Scientist 3

In addition to the Job Requirements outlined above, qualification at the Scientist 3 level requires:

  • Significant experience with design and implementation of complex optical instrumentation and systems

  • Significant experience with algorithms development and commensurate experience with applied computing to process, analyze, and interpret optical data

  • Demonstrated proficiency in one or more scientific programming languages (e.g. C/C++, Python, Matlab, IDL)

  • A record of technical accomplishment and excellence in research in one or more subfields demonstrated by publications in peer reviewed scientific journals, invited talks, and/or non-peer reviewed publications (e.g. technical reports, briefings to sponsors)

Desired Skills:

  • Familiarity with imaging systems including scientific cameras, high-speed cameras, CCD/CMOS architectures, and focal plane array technology

  • Experience with data acquisition and management of large data sets

  • Experience with laser-based remote sensing

  • Experience with instrument response characterization, calibration, and optimization

  • Experience with image and/or time-series processing and analysis


Scientist 2:Graduate degree (PhD or Master’s in physics, optical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering or a related field) followed by professional scientific work experience (e.g. industry, academic, or postdoctoral research)

Scientist 3: Requirements for Scientist 2 and significant record of professional scientific work experience and accomplishment.

Notes to Applicants: In addition to a resume, candidates must submit a cover letter addressing the specific job requirements. Applications without this letter will not be considered.

Additional Details:

Clearance: Q(Position will be cleared to this level). Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter.

*Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Regular position:Term status Laboratory employees applying for regular-status positions are converted to regular status.

Equal Opportunity:

Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regards to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

Where You Will Work

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

ISR‐2 is a research and development group that innovates and implements novel remote sensing concepts (optical, infrared and RF) in the support of global security and conducting scientific research in a variety of related fields. The group maintains multi‐disciplinary programs in theory, modeling, instrumentation, experimentation, field deployment, data analysis and data exploitation.

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Contact Name: Frary, Suzanne R

Organization Name: ISR-2 / Space And Remote Sensing

Email: suzannef@lanl.gov

Job Title: Optical Sensing Scientist 2 / 3 (Scientist 2 / 3)

Appointment Type: Regular

Req ID: IRC62798