Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 2112

Title: Mirror Control Software Engineer

Element: Software and Controls

Type: Full time

Location: Pasadena, CA (temporary remote work due to COVID-19)

This exciting job opportunity is with the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project HQ located in Pasadena, California. The GMT is being developed by a group of leading university and research centers from across the globe. GMTO Corporation has been formed to design, construct and operate the GMT, which will be located in the Andean mountains at Las Campanas Peak in Chile. The GMT is the next generation astronomical observatory with 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is entering the formal construction phase with scientific operations expected to begin in 2030.


The successful candidate will be an employee of the GMTO Corporation and must be able to meet pre-employment requirements including any background and reference checks and the successful candidate must be a US citizen or eligible to work in the United States and at least 18 years of age. GMTO provides competitive salaries and a generous benefits package.

Job Summary:
The Giant Magellan Telescope’s (GMT) Software and Controls (SWC) team is pursuing a highly qualified Mirror Control Software Engineer to work on the software for the GMT primary mirror control system.

Reporting to the Software and Control Manager, this position will be responsible to design, implement and test mirror control software components and applications of the Primary Mirror Device Control System (M1 DCS). The M1 DCS will be integrated into the Observatory Control System (OCS) and is a crucial telescope subsystem. This position will work closely with the Software and Controls team and the M1 Subsystem team to provide a high-quality and a high-value control software for active support, position control and thermal control of the primary mirror segment.

The Mirror Control Software Engineer must have equivalent experience in equivalent control systems. In order to be able to recommend and implement innovative solutions, the Mirror Control Software Engineer is expected to keep up to date with current trends and tools in real time control applications and tools. Travel to the test facility in Tucson, Arizona, will be required to integrate and test the software directly with the mirror segment hardware and optical mirror.

Job Duties:
• Review and create requirements and interface documentation
• Design and implement mirror control components and applications
• Design and implement model-based development tools
• Develop test plans for software and integrated system testing
• Follow coding standards, build unit tests, integration tests and deployment scripts
• Install and setup required software and hardware
• Perform troubleshooting and provide reports on progress and problems
• Work collaboratively with the SWC and M1S teams
• Write technical reports, manuals, and support documentation
• Prepare and deliver presentations at project reviews and conferences
• Support developers and community on support forums, mailing lists, wikis, etc.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• MS degree in software engineering or control engineering
• 5+ years previous experience developing mirror control applications
• Strong understanding and experience with real time control systems and control theory
• Experience with motion control, mirror shape control and/or thermal control
• C/C++ programming in real-time systems
• Experience with Python development
• Experience with developing software systems in Linux
• Ability to debug complex systems
• Experience with industrial fieldbuses (EtherCAT or CANOpen) and network programming
• Familiarity with hardware device management
• Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
• Ability to work with cross-functional work teams and users
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• RT-Preempt and other RT Linux extensions
• Experience with Model Based Software Engineering
• Experience with SysML and UML
• Experience with agile development methodologies
• Previous experience in telescope control systems

Please send your CV and a Cover Letter to

If your skills and experience appear to be a match or if we need additional information to make a decision, we will contact you. If we do not see a suitable match between your qualifications and the position, we will keep your information on file in the event future positions become available that are more suitable to your qualifications.

GMTO is an equal employment opportunity employer