Calibration Data Analyst

Job Details

Job ID: 11324

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.


Unique opportunity to join JPL's Processing Algorithm & Calibration Engineering (PA&CE) group responsible for advancing the processes that link preflight test results and on-orbit calibration measurements with science needs. It strives for the state of the art capabilities in characterizing the performance of many individual sensor elements, correcting for changes with time and temperature, and understanding the connections between Level 1 data quality and Level 2 results.

The Calibration Data Analyst position primarily encompasses work in the area of inflight calibration with applications to Earth science orbiter missions as well as preflight calibration of instruments undergoing integration and test. You will work on algorithm specification, design, and implementation for trending pipelines and tools to derive and update radiometric calibration coefficients. The positiion requires understanding instrument optical design, carefully characterizing calibration sources, and optimal estimation retrieval algorithms. You will assume responsibilities for regular deliveries to the science data system and validating the quality of ancillary data products. Help strengthen and promote partnerships internal to JPL as well as with outside communities in the areas of Remote Sensing, Imaging Spectroscopy, and Atmospheric Science.

In this role your team is part of JPL's Instrument Software and Science Data Systems Section which provides expertise across the domains of instrument operations and science data systems with a team of multidisciplinary engineers and technologists.  The engineering teams build and operate high performance data processing, management and analysis systems capable of handling petabyte scale datasets in support of science discovery, research, operations and applications. 

The Section supports JPL and NASA missions, as well as other science-based projects. Our research and technology development teams create new onboard and ground based technologies for data processing, analysis, modeling, reasoning, visualization, management, access and analytics that are infused into our data systems.


  • Typically requires a Master's degree in Physics, Applied Science, or Applied Mathematics with a minimum of 4 years of related experience; or Ph.D in similar disciplines with 2 years of related experience.
  • Expert knowledge in one or more of the following fields: a) instrument design, b) instrument operations, d) optimization algorithms, c) machine learning.
  • Broad knowledge in one or more of the following related fields: numerical analysis, data analysis, mathematical modeling, curve fitting, statistics.
  • Excellent communication skills to understand user needs, negotiate requirements, and summarize trade-offs to instrument developers and science customers.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience integrating with existing applications and libraries written in IDL, Python, R, or similar languages.
  • Significant and varied experience in scientific and numerical programming.
  • Attention to detail. 
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the principles underlying data acquisition and subsequent processing involving scientific remote sensing instruments.
  • Extensive knowledge of applicable industry and/or academic practices and standards for analysis of remote sensing data sets in response to science needs, and reporting of related results in journals, workshops, or conferences.

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