Postdoc in Geodynamics And Space Geodesy

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Pasadena, CA 91116

Posted 1 month ago

Job Description

**Job Details**

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.

JPL is unique among NASA Centers in that its staff are Caltech employees, yet can access NASA technical resources. Cross-discipline teamwork is standard here: colleagues across JPL's science and engineering organizations and Caltech's academic campus often work together. Learning to speak and understand other disciplines' languages is a doorway to the creativity needed to do what has not been done before. JPL staff are encouraged to create mission concepts that address humanity's core questions through a combination of science and technology. They are supported in developing ideas into proposals and hardware, and communicating funded missions' results to the scientific community and the broader public. JPL seeks to employ scientists and engineers who are passionate about lifelong learning and excited to contribute to and lead team efforts. We emphasize the importance of partnering across discipline boundaries and creating a friendly, constructive work environment to overcome space exploration's challenges. The postdocs at JPL benefit from an informal mentoring network, an annual conference showcasing their results, a dedicated seminar series, exposure to diverse career paths, and social connections across the JPL and Caltech community for advice on housing, childcare, and other aspects of living in southern California.

The Tracking Systems & Applications Section provides world-leading capability and expertise in a wide range of technologies that are critical to spacecraft tracking and related applications.

The Section supports NASA's deep-space missions by providing to the JPL navigators a unique and extremely precise radiometric data type – delta differential one-way range, or DDOR – derived from spacecraft radio-frequency (RF) tones and natural RF sources. The Section also delivers to JPL navigators a host of other products that are required for deep space navigation with any ground-based tracking techniques. These include celestial and terrestrial reference frame coordinates, Earth orientation parameters, and calibrations to account for the effects of the Earth's troposphere and ionosphere on RF metric tracking data-types. The Section provides the Deep Space Network (DSN) with the precision frequency and time distribution systems, and expertise required for operations. The Section is a leader in developing and delivering advanced arraying technology to coherently combine signals from multiple DSN antennas.

For terrestrial and near-Earth users the Section offers the highest accuracy GNSS-based positioning and timing products and services. These include unique global tracking infrastructure, advanced instruments for high accuracy positioning and Earth remote sensing science, software for analysis and real-time operations, as well as precision orbit determination and mission support services. The Section leverages these capabilities to develop precision position determination systems for distributed spaceborne instruments and spacecraft formations, including the capability to perform detailed systems analysis for design and performance of these and other future tracking systems. The Section also performs extensive scientific investigations using its technologies in the areas of planetary dynamics, astrophysics, astrometry and radio astronomy, gravitational waves, geophysics, and fundamental physics.


We seek a postdoc scientist to contribute toward:

a. Producing software to precisely predict the future position of geodetic sites for navigation purposes,

b. Determining a model of Earth's major plates and microplate, and

c. Producing a global model of deformation in Earth's plate boundary zone.

The software predicting future site predictions will incorporate knowledge about plate motion, plate boundary zone deformation, and interseismic strain accumulate due to fault locking. Producing the software will require coding in C, Python, and execution in Linux. The software will adhere to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory practices for producing excellent code. Creating the software will involve interaction with government agencies.

Determining a global plate motion and plate boundary zone model will require thorough knowledge of the application of geodetic techniques. The scientist will work with Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a university's team of GPS scientists and technologists estimating GPS satellite orbits, clocks, and positions as a function of time. The scientist must have knowledge of inversion algorithms, linear algebra, and estimation of model parameter uncertainties.


Ph.D. in geoscience, geodesy, or related field is required.

Strong communication, writing, and organizational skills will be needed.

C, Python, and Linux computer skills will be needed.

The appointee will carry out research in collaboration with the JPL advisor, Donald Argus, resulting in publications in the open literature.

Applicants may be subject to additional program requirements by NASA. Postdoctoral Scholar positions are awarded for a minimum of one-year period and may be renewed up to a maximum of three years. Candidates should submit the following to this site: CV, representative publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter stating their research accomplishments and interests.

JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

EEO is the Law. (

EEO is the Law Supplement

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision (\_English\_unformattedESQA508c.pdf)

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here. (\_country\_list\_8-16-2019\_tagged\_0.pdf)

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