Adaptive Optics (AO) Postdoctoral Fellow | W.M. Keck Observatory

Date Posted: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Position Location: 
Waimea, HI
Job Description: 

W.M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) operates two of the largest and most scientifically productive optical/infrared telescopes on Earth. The twin 10-meter telescopes are located amidst several other world class observatories on the summit of Mauna Kea, at 13,796 feet above sea level on the Big Island of Hawaii, one of the premier sites for astronomy. The observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA. To learn more about us, visit us at

WMKO offers a robust rewards package which includes: a competitive salary; a broad benefits bundle including a 403(b) plan; a highly regarded tuition assistance program for dependent children (K-12 grade); and an unmatched focus of excellence all while working on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii.

This is a temporary position with an anticipated length of 2.5 years

Under the general supervision of the Adaptive Optics (AO) Scientist, this position plays a lead role in the development and optimization of the Keck All sky Precision Adaptive Optics System (KAPA). KAPA will upgrade the Keck I AO system to a laser tomography system. The upgraded system will include a new laser, three laser beacons, a new real time controller, improved near-infrared tip-tilt sensing and PSF reconstruction for the OSIRIS integral field spectrograph.

Principal activities include:

  • Play a lead role in the design, development, characterization, optimization, commissioning and documentation of the KAPA system.
  • Play a lead role in the preparation for and performance of engineering observing runs, in order to efficiently and effectively carry out the nighttime engineering observing programs.
  • Conduct adaptive optics research to further the Keck high angular resolution capabilities, performance or productivity, and to stimulate research at Keck Observatory.

Required Qualifications include:

  • PhD level degree in adaptive optics or high angular resolution astronomy, or equivalent experience.
  • Experience with real-time control and associated algorithms.

To learn more about our job opportunities and to apply, please go to:
EEO Employer