Casual VLBI Correlator Operator

The ATNF operates the Long Baseline Array (LBA), as an integral part of the National Facility. The LBA is a VLBI network of telescopes in Australia consisting of the ATNF telescopes at ATCA, Mopra and Parkes, the University of Tasmania telescopes at Hobart and Ceduna and the DSN telescopes at Tidbinbilla. This is occasionally augmented by telescopes in other parts of the world such as Hartebeesthoek in South Africa, Kokee Park in Hawaii and telescopes in Japan and China.

The LBA records data at each telescope on VCR tapes using the Canadian S2 system. These tapes are then correlated at the 7-station LBA correlator facility at ATNF headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney. The correlation is performed by visiting astronomers and ATNF staff.

ATNF has a casual vacancy for VLBI correlator operator(s) to assist with the operation of the LBA correlator. The demand for such operators varies and it is available only on a casual basis. For operational and budgetary reasons only 1-2 days work per week on average may be offered, but with large fluctuations over time. The position is at the Radiophysics Laboratory, Corner Vimiera and Pembroke streets, Marsfield (near Epping), Sydney.

The operator, after suitable training, will be expected to run the facility with minimal supervision. Duties may also include assisting staff and visitors with correlation, VCR tape management and management and backup of the correlator output data.

As the correlator is a very complex instrument this position requires strong computer skills and a high level of problem-solving ability. A background in astronomy helps but it is not essential. In the past this position has been filled by post-graduate students or science/computing undergraduates at an advanced stage of their course. Familiarity with VLBI and previous experience in correlating will be an advantage.

The ATNF aims to establish a short list of suitably qualified candidates that could form a pool of LBA correlator operators, to be called as needed.

Renumeration will depend on qualifications and experience, but it is expected to be in the range $18-22 per hour.

More information on VLBI at ATNF is available on

Please forward an application and a short resume to

Last Modified: 24 March 2003