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Senior Data Assimilation Scientist

Spire — Glasgow
Senior Data Assimilation Scientist - image

Spire Global is a 150-person space data company founded in 2012. In less than six years, Spire has built one of the world's largest satellite constellations, and we're just getting started.

We are looking for a Senior Data Assimilation (DA) Scientist to join our Glasgow office. The Senior Data Assimilation Scientist will lead a small but agile team tasked with assimilating new and existing global total electron content (TEC) and radio occultation (RO) data into an ionosphere model in order to improve the accuracy of GNSS location-based services and other applications.

Positioning errors from ionospheric effects on GNSS signals remain one of the last hurdles in improving GNSS-based positioning accuracies. Spire satellites have the unique capability to globally measure TEC and scintillation indices and provide near real-time estimates of ionospheric delay and disturbance effects on GNSS services. The Senior Data Assimilation Scientist will help build Spire’s capability to assimilate Spire satellite TEC measurements, as well as external sources of ionospheric data, into Spire’s in-house ionosphere model. This capability will enable Spire to provide near real-time corrections to GNSS location-based services and their providers, leading to greater confidence in applications that require high accuracy and resiliency, such as autonomous vehicle navigation. You will have opportunities to work with top-level scientists at Spire as well as scientists from around the world on issues that matter.

Responsibilities of your role:

  • The successful candidate will work will lead the Spire Ionosphere DA team and work to implement and evaluate cutting-edge DA methods and assimilate large amounts of GNSS-TEC and other satellite and ground-based data into Spire’s ionosphere model.
  • Implementing cutting-edge capabilities for assimilating satellite data into the associated ionosphere model; i.e. developing new observation operators for ionospheric RO data
  • Proposing and implementing innovative approaches to data acquisition, data processing, and quality control.
  • Working with the software engineering team to define the most effective software solutions.
  • Presenting research findings at scientific conferences or workshops.

Qualifications / Experience:

  • Applicants must have either an MSc or Ph.D. degree in Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Mathematics, or equivalent working experience in DA methods.
  • Working experience with modern DA methods (such as 3D-Var, 4D-Var, ensemble Kalman filter, and hybrid ensemble-variational methods) preferably in the context of  geophysical models
  • Working experience with inverse problems and applications
  • Working knowledge of Fortran, C, C++, Python, Linux scripting and code management practices.
  • Demonstration of enthusiasm and ability to work in a development team that never stops improving DA methods and results.

Strong candidates will also possess skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • Experience of using satellite data (preferably radio occultation data) for ionospheric or atmospheric sensing
  • Understanding of research and techniques associated with the use of GNSS data for sensing the ionosphere or atmosphere
  • Knowledge of ionospheric effects on radio systems