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CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Radio Astronomy-Discovering Cosmic Dawn


The Opportunity Do you have a PhD in astronomy, electronic engineering, physics or a related field? Build precision radio instruments to observe the astrophysics of cosmic dawn when the first stars lit up our universe Gain the skills, knowledge and understanding to lead key science research in this exciting postdoctoral role CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have no more than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future science leaders. The Postdoctoral Fellow will build and deploy a sensitive spectral radiometer to detect the redshifted 21 cm radio signal from neutral hydrogen during the Cosmic Dawn.

They will commission and observe with the new radiometer at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site in Western Australia before deploying to more remote sites at land and sea. Advanced mathematical statistical analysis will be required to detect and measure weak 21 cm signals in the recorded spectra. The challenge is in the necessary precision calibration of the instrument and the development of algorithms to detect weak spectral signatures predicted by cosmology.

The cosmic signatures must be carefully separated from the much brighter radio emissions of our Galaxy and our built environment. Discovering the physics of the emergence of first stars and ultra-faint galaxies from primordial gas is a key goal of modern astrophysics and the Square Kilometre Array. Single-antenna radiometer detection of cosmic dawn is a complementary effort.

It is a first step that will pave the way for more detailed studies with the SKA-Low that is being built in Western Australia. At the project’s conclusion, the Postdoctoral Fellow will be empowered with the theoretical understanding and the experimental experience necessary to lead key science with SKA-Low. CSIRO Space & Astronomy (S&A) is committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace culture and implementing initiatives to improve diversity and equity within our workplace.

CSIRO offers a range of flexible working arrangements to support these initiatives including part time and job-sharing options. You will have input on how, when and where you work. Your duties will include: Undertaking system-level design and modelling of antennas, sensitive radio receivers, and associated digital systems for data acquisition and signal processing.

Performing laboratory verification tests to iteratively advance the system design. Field testing the radiometer on an existing SKA-Low antenna at the SKA site. Deploying the precision instrument at a remote site, measuring the cosmic radio spectrum, and deciphering the physics of Cosmic Dawn.

Developing an understanding of the theoretical foundations of physics of Cosmic Dawn and the following epoch of reionisation. Location: Marsfield, Sydney or Kensington, Perth (Based at one with frequent inter.


Date14 September 2021

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