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Reference : UMR7326-FRELEP-045
Workplace : MARSEILLE 13
Date of publication : Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Type of Contract : FTC Technical / Administrative
Contract Period : 24 months
Expected date of employment : 1 March 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : Between 2471€ et 3164 € gross monthly according to experience
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : Indifferent
A position is offered at LAM in the context of the preparation of the PLATO space mission whose scientific objectives are the discovery and characterization of Earth-sized planets and super-Earths in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars and the detailed study of planetary systems.
LAM is in charge of the definition of the algorithms to evaluate and rank the planet candidates that will be detected in the light curves. These algorithms will have to provide a list of vetted planets ready for follow-up observation and free from false positives. The selected applicant will have to define a reliable and fast procedure to rank exoplanet transit detections and establish precise specifications for the "Exoplanet Analysis System" (EAS) pipeline of the PLATO Data Center.
The successful candidate will be expected to define an optimized algorithm for the scientific evaluation of the transits that will be detected in light curves such as those expected from PLATO. The goal of the study is not only to assess the planetary likelihood of the detected transits using all available information (light curves, centroids, host star parameters, and knowledge of its neighbor ..), but also to develop a method for the ranking of the planet candidates, method that will take into account the scientific interest of each candidates (size, orbital period, insolation …) and will aim at providing guidance to subsequent follow-up observations. This will notably involve the use of classical Bayesian methods.
Her/His work should lead to the development of a prototype, fully tested, operational, and whose performance will have been carefully evaluated, using PLATO simulated light curves. or those from existing surveys (e.g. from Kepler/K2.. ). It will allow to establish precise specifications for the Exoplanet Analysis System (EAS) pipeline of the Plato Data Center (PDC). In addition, the candidate will also define a set of scientific tests that will be used later on to test and validate the pipeline.
- exoplanet science
- data reduction (mostly photometry),
- analysis of high precision photometric surveys,
- ability to work in team and within a project structure,
- ability to write documentation,
- ability to present oral results,
- ability to translate results in publications.
The successful applicant will work with the PLATO team at LAM within the Planetary System group, mostly M. Deleuil, and A. Santerne. She/he will also collaborate with the PLATO Science Management team, and especially the teams in Warwick and DLR, in charge of the specifications of the Exoplanets Analysis System and the one in Cambridge in charge of the implementation and development of the EAS pipeline.
The applicant will join the Planetary System Group and will benefit from a vibrant research environment setting inter-wining planetary and exoplanet sciences. She/he will benefit the team's current exoplanet programs on planets characterization with radial velocity and high precision photometric observations. The team researchers are members of the HARPS, SPIRou, SOPHIE, and SPHERE consortia but also of the Science Team of the CHEOPS mission for which they have developed the data reduction pipeline. They also have privileged access to SOPHIE spectrograph data at the OHP. The successful candidate may also be associated with some of the team's programs on characterization of planets.
Constraints and risks
The position comes with project constraints: deadlines, documentation writing, meeting attendance (PLATO weeks or meetings related to workpackages progresses).
The successful applicant will hold a PhD in astrophysics with previous expertise in high-precision photometry (data reduction and analysis) and exoplanets science.
The candidate will present her/his existing research expertise and interests developed either during the PhD or previous postdoctoral position(s) in a maximum of 3 pages. Additional application materials include a 2-page CV, a complete list of peer-reviewed publications, and a cover letter (1 page) with the names of 2 referees/references. The candidates should submit their application through the form available online.
For further information they can contact M. Deleuil: firstname.lastname@example.org or A. Santerne: email@example.com
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