Management of the PLATO Characterization and Operations Team (PCOT)
The Institute of Planetary Research carries out and supports research programs on the internal structure, formation and evolution of the planets, their moons, and asteroids and comets. Techniques employed include remote sensing and in-situ investigations using instruments carried on spacecraft, astronomical observations from the ground, theoretical modeling, and laboratory experiments.
PLATO is the third of the M-class missions in the Cosmic Vision Programme of ESA. PLATO is Europe's next large-scale space mission to detect and characterise exoplanets. The primary goal of the mission is to look for Earth-like planets up to the habitable zone of solar-like stars. The aim is to determine the radius, mass and age of exoplanets with unprecedented accuracy. The Institute of Planetary Research at DLR is leading the international consortium responsible for the development of the PLATO payload, consisting of 26 cameras forming a wide-field space telescope.
Applicants shall contribute to the work in the department of Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres and take part in the implementation of the PLATO mission and the preparation for the scientific exploitation of the data. This is a part of the existing PLATO system team. The department has leading positions in PLATO, CHEOPS, ground-based transit survey NGTS, and is involved in the exploitation of data from NASA's Kepler, K2 mission (KESPRINT collaboration), and ESO facilities.
The tasks associated with the position are:
- Manage the PLATO Characterization and Operations Team (PCOT), composed by members of the PLATO Mission Consortium (PMC) geographically distributed in Europe and coordinate the interaction between the PCOT and ESA. This task includes the coordination with the AIT teams.
- Ensure the provision of all information relevant to data calibration of the PLATO instrument (including calibration plans, calibration results, calibration algorithms, and managing data for archiving) and second-level quality control (on calibrated data).
- Support the spacecraft operations by participating in the establishment of the procedures needed for payload calibration & characterization, payload operation, and for scientific mission planning.
- Coordinate the provision of parameters for the PLATO Instrument TM/TC Database, the PLATO Instrument User's Manual, the documentation related to the maintenance of the instrument, the payload operational procedures considering the payload operational constraints, and the procedures to monitor instrument health and the instrument trend analysis.
- We are searching for a highly motivated, experienced researcher or engineer and we will value positively the following skills:
- required education: M.S. (PhD beneficial) in Physics, Optical Engineering or equivalent
- project management experience
- experience in the planning, development, and implementation of assembly integration tests of optical systems for space missions
- experience in the conception and definition of test procedures and test plans with emphasis on optical systems
- experience with space system and subsystem integration and test execution
- fluent in English
- Applicants shall have experience in the implementation of space projects or large ground-based astronomical instrument projects, including the activities of calibration, characterization and operation of scientific instrumentation (optical payloads). Experience in the field of extrasolar planets and related instrumentation is beneficial.
Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.
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