ES180 Scientific Software Developer

Want an exciting career at NASA and help the public to better understand our Earth through science?

Work in a place that pushes the envelope of science every day, yet spy a deer or a Canadian goose as you stroll the grounds of Goddard during lunch.

We are seeking a Scientific Software Developer who to join an exciting new NASA mission. The ICE, Cloud, and Land Elevation, Satellite (ICESat-2) Mission is a laser altimeter with a single instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) which was launched on September 15, 2018. ICESat-2 makes height measurements globally, over sea ice covered regions these height measurements are converted to freeboard and thickness using a suite of algorithms developed by the project. ICESat-2 is expected to create a decadal-scale time series of sea ice change extending back to the launch of ICESat in 2003 and which makes use of other satellite and airborne missions after the failure of ICESat in 2009. This task provides for the continued evaluation of data required to produce this time series from ICESat-2 and refinement of the products. Primary work will be done using Python with utilization of some heritage code written in Matlab and IDL. All code is expected to be integrated into an existing GitHub environment for shared work across the group of researchers working on the products.

The successful candidate will support the on-orbit evaluation, development, and visualization of ICESat-2 sea ice data products. These products are the retrieved surface elevation, surface type identification, and freeboard from the ATL07 and ATL10 data products as well as a NASA Goddard sea ice thickness research product. This task will also support the assessments towards the reconciling of ICESat-2 data with other satellite and airborne data sets such as CryoSat-2 and Operation IceBridge. Specifically, the successful candidate will:

  • Support assessments of the ATL07/10 data products. This will be done through the development of new data visualization tools such as mapping and plotting routines which explore different temporal and spatial aspects of the data. Comparisons of ATL07/10 data with airborne laser altimetry and imagery from Operation IceBridge will also be done using heritage retrieval algorithms and will also support the evaluation of new algorithm approaches.
  • Help develop the ICESat-2 GSFC sea ice thickness product. This work includes the development of new visualization tools for the data set, testing of new algorithm approaches, development and maintenance of scripts for the automated daily generation of the sea ice thickness product, and incorporation of new routines as needed to the master Python code used to generate the sea ice thickness data set. Data will be reprocessed as required.
  • Support comparisons of the ICESat-2 elevation, freeboard, and thickness data products with satellite and in-situ data products including CryoSat-2, undersea mooring data, and EM bird measurements. Tasks for this will include the utilization of heritage IDL and Matlab code for the processing of the satellite and in-situ data products.

Required Experience:

  • At least three years’ experience in scientific programming is required. This includes use of Python, Matlab and IDL as well as integration into an existing Github environment
  • At least three years’ experience with scientific data processing code development
  • At least three years’ experience with science data product development and product validation
  • Successful experience with algorithm and/or code issue resolution.
  • Self-initiated individual, with a history of meeting schedules and technical goals
  • Ability to write effectively and possess solid oral communications skills that allow clear & concise documentation of developed algorithms, code, and to presentation of such
  • Strong sense of schedule needs and milestone definition
  • Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment

Desired Experience:

  • Knowledge of scientific data formats such as HDF or netCDF
  • Knowledge of NASA remote sensing instruments, data processing and applications.  Knowledge of the ATLAS instrument on ICESat-2 and instruments on other NASA missions, such as Cryosat and Operation IceBridge will be highly desired.

Education: BS in physical science, engineering or mathematics

***This job is with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s SESDA 4 contract and therefore requires US citizenship or Greencard****