SARAO is Hiring a Senior Systems Analyst


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is hiring a senior systems analyst on a permanent contract. The senior systems analyst will join the facility at Cape Town, Western Cape to perform signal-level modelling, design and testing of systems and algorithms that comprise the signal path in radio telescopes. This includes analysing how each subsystem/algorithm along the signal path, from antenna to data product, modifies the signal and its quality, including analysing external influences upon the signal path, whether intended (e.g. online calibration)

Key Responsibilities

  • Deliver quality analysis, typically at all levels of the system’s hierarchy, including the enterprise or organisational aspects, covering systems of systems aspects.
  • Supporting the systems and commissioning engineers through providing analysis of architectures and solutions with vague or abstract specifications.
  • Assisting the telescope systems engineers in tailoring the SARAO Systems Engineering Processes appropriately through preparing the signal path analysis components of the verification and validation plans.
  • Advancing the maturity of systems and products through inputs based on recognised signal chain systems analysis competence and skills.
  • Reviewing and integrating multiple activity reports into system-level analysis reports to ensure the quality and integrity of results and recommendations within uncertain contexts.
  • Contributing to the strategic leadership of SARAO and its Programmes through experience-based inputs and conceptual/ strategic thinking.
  • Advancing SARAO’s organisational maturity through the development and implementation of analysis processes within the systems analysis and broader SARAO Systems Engineering and Business Process Environment.
  • Mentor or coach up to 5 analysts in the field of system performance analysis and specifically signal analysis.

Key Requirements


  • B.Eng/B.Sc (Eng) with 9+ years; OR
  • M.Eng with 7+ years; OR
  • PhD/D.Eng with 5+ years


  • Recognised expertise in radio astronomy and/or radar signal processing and analysis domain.
  • Radio astronomy principles and instrumentation.
  • Analysing the performance of complex signal-based systems in the radio astronomy domain.
  • Processing data from signal-based systems.
  • Demonstrated experience in the utilisation of systems analysis tools.
  • Producing outputs and results that can be used directly for systems engineering and project management decisions.


In-depth domain knowledge of:

  • Signal processing techniques (analogue and digital) in Radio Astronomy.
  • Systems engineering life-cycle processes with a particular focus on the analysis of emergent properties.
  • Technology areas in signal-based systems (RF, EM, analogue and digital electronics, etc.)
  • Systems and engineering analysis, technology and/or software based on theoretical aspects and experience in systems analysis methods, procedures, tools and techniques.

Additional Notes:

The applicant should have the following skills, abilities, and competencies:

  • Operate independently or as a task leader when required, to deliver systems signal chain analysis, typically at all levels of the systems hierarchy, including complex systems dynamics behaviour for signal chains within systems of systems.
  • Work within multi-disciplined and multi-cultural teams and stakeholders, to form an effective interface between science and engineering teams.
  • Delivering systems analysis across multiple domains on multiple products, subsystems and systems to multiple teams.
  • Use of signal processing tools and software in processing signal data from analogue and digital signal-based systems.
  • Competence in computer software programming languages (Python, etc.)
  • Using advanced interpersonal skills in order to influence change in complex systems behaviour and operational environments.
  • Developing and applying innovative analysis methods, techniques and tools to improve the analysis capabilities of the organisation.
  • Ability to organise complex problems in such a way to define a plan of action and to allocate tasks.
  • Communicate expertly and confidently both verbally and written in order to gather information, task team members and present results.
  • Coaching and mentoring.
  • Work and successfully deliver under pressure.
  • The Senior Systems Analyst will operate within a matrix engineering organisation and will be deployed to multiple telescope or system projects and teams with different specific roles as dictated by the current organizational needs.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV here before 18 September 2022. Furthermore, applicants should include a letter of motivation indicating their suitability for the position in their applications. In addition, the applicants must provide the names and contact details of at least three referees.

South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a challenging career and a competitive remuneration package commensurate with qualifications and experience. Also, the NRF is committed to employment equity and redress, and appointments to the position will be made in line with the NRF Employment Equity Plan. In addition, the NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment and will send correspondence to short-listed candidates only.

You can get more information regarding the opening here.

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