Commencing August/September 2000 for approximately 34 months


The Physical Sciences Division of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is recruiting an electronic engineer to join the team studying the upper atmosphere at Halley, Antarctica. The team studies the near Earth-Space environment using a variety of sophisticated scientific instruments, including computer-controlled HF radars, VLF and HF receivers, magnetometers and optical imagers. This position offers a unique opportunity for a young engineer to meet the challenge of Antarctic life whilst gaining practical engineering experience in state-of-the art equipment.


The research station at Halley concentrates primarily on atmospheric research, from the ground, through the ionosphere, magnetosphere and out into the solar wind. Halley is in a key location for such studies and BAS has a high international reputation for its research in this scientific area.

The research instrumentation includes magnetometers, riometers, CCD all-sky cameras, VLF receivers, two high-power HF radars and five unmanned automatic geophysical observatories at various locations up to 800km inland from Halley. All instrumentation is computer controlled using PC-architecture machines connected to a local area network. Most system software is written in "C". The engineer's prime roles are operation and maintenance of the equipment. However, he/she will also be involved in field testing and software debugging of new equipment under instruction from an engineer at Cambridge via satellite communications. Over the next year, this will include a network of very low-powered magnetometers and a new CCD camera system for investigating the mesosphere.

The successful candidate will have proven ability in electronics and computing hardware coupled with self reliance and strong motivation. He/she will work in close co-operation with a data manager, who will be responsible for the scientific integrity and management of instrument data, and must be adaptable and willing to take on various tasks as they arise including a considerable amount of outdoor maintenance, and must also take on their share of the general base work.

Appropriate specialist training will be given in Cambridge prior to travelling to Halley in Autumn 2000 and returning in Spring 2003. There may be the opportunity to spend a period in the UK upon completion of the Antarctic tour of duty to undertake work arising from the field experience.

This will be a challenging and demanding opportunity in an extreme and isolated environment. Applicants to work overseas must therefore be physically fit and the position would best suit someone without committing responsibilities and who would enjoy living in a predominantly young community.

Qualifications: A degree or equivalent in Electronic Engineering, Physics or an appropriate subject. Candidates with a minimum of HNC in electronics and several years experience will also be considered. Relevant practical experience in electronics is essential, and some experience in the "C" Programming language is desirable.

See http://www.nerc-bas.ac.uk/public/uasd/ for further information about BAS, the work on the upper atmosphere and Halley.

See separate handout for general information and details of Salary and Conditions of Service.

Completed Employer’s application form should be sent to:-

Personnel Section, British Antarctic Survey, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET.

Tel: Cambridge (01223 221508/7.

Quote job reference PS1/00 Closing date for completed applications: 11 February 2000