Monday, March 17, 2014

CSjob: Postdoc Novel signal processing algorithms for radio astronomy (SKA) , IBM Research Zurich

(Other job announcements can be found in these entries or as posts in the LinkedIn Compressive Sensing group)

Paul Hurley just sent me the following this morning:
Hello Igor,

Following nuit blanche, I see that you sometimes relay some job posts. If you wouldn’t mind forwarding one, we have also a really interesting post-doc related to the Square Kilometre Array: Our plans include a particular focus on sparse signal processing methods.

All the best,
I generally call people who attempts sparse signal processing on one of the largest sensor ever made on Earth, Dudes or Dudettes. So yes Dude, I am proud to relay your postdoc announcement !

Novel signal processing algorithms for radio astronomy

Ref. 2014-02

Project description

In 2011, IBM celebrated its centennial, proudly looking back at a history of achievement, leadership, and commitment to innovation and progress. In 2012, we opened the ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Technology, which will address challenges of the new computer era. The research centre is located in Dwingeloo, Drenthe, on the Campus of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). Under the umbrella of the DOME project, IBM and ASTRON are jointly carrying out fundamental research into exascale computing technologies needed to develop the SKA radio telescope.
The collaboration focuses on three main areas:
  • Sustainable Computing (extreme performance at minor energy costs)
  • Nano-photonics (data transport power reduction over short and long distances)
  • Data & Streaming (real time processing of massive data amounts).
We currently have an opening in the area of signal processing algorithms at the IBM Research - Zurich Laboratory, Switzerland. The post's research spans themes such as Fourier analysis, compressed sensing, finite rate of innovation, filter banks, array signal processing, and coding theory. The goal of the project is to develop and extensively test signal processing algorithms which cut across the entire radio astronomy chain from acquisition to image creation.


We are looking for an enthusiastic, gifted researcher to strengthen our team. The candidate should have a PhD, or be about to finish one, in either signal processing, applied mathematics, or related discipline, together with excellent scientific publication and mathematical ability. The candidate should be able to work independently and in an international cross-border team. Knowledge of Matlab and C/C++ would also be advantageous.


IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us, you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent, flexible working arrangements enable both women and men to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.

How to apply

Please contact: Paul Hurley,

Photos credit: SKA Project Development Office and Swinburne Astronomy Productions (through wikipedia)


njh said...

This seems as good a place to suggest this as any, with a non-zero chance of someone who can answer actually hearing: I recall that radio telescopes don't operate during the day due to the noise from the sun. If the surface were 'visible light reflective' these telescopes would focus sunlight and these already have a tracking system built in. Is it practical to make this array have dual purpose of radio telescope by night and solar generator by day?

Back of the envelope says that the SKA would produce 700TJ = 200GWhr if it is located mostly in desert areas with clear skys.

(photovoltaic panels have a conductive layer on the front, perhaps even the non-tracking arrays could serve dual purpose)

Igor said...


What surface area did you take for that back of he envelope computation ? Plus, there is the whole line loss between this location in the desert amd more populated areas

Let us also not forget that a power infrastructure would probably have some impact on the science aspect of the project even if they don't work at the same time.


njh said...

Hi Igor,
I was using their claim of 1 square kilometer - I was under the impression that for photon capture the resolution is set by the baseline (hence the idea of using telescopes around the world), but the sensitivity is set by the aperture, which is the amount of mirror area. Thus, when they call it a square kilometer array they mean it has a surface area of 1km^2, rather than its effective diameter. I agree about the power infrastructure, but I figured that the array itself would probably require a considerable amount of power. Long distance power transmission has improved steadily and 2000km is now considered very tractable - that's Algiers to London.

To keep this on topic, consider the dual problem: can we use the power fluctuations of large scale PV and window power to measure climate change?