Radio Frequency Engineer (Time and Frequency Systems) SARAO, Cape Town

Cape Town
Posted 7 months ago

Permanent position

Market Related salary

About the Position

SARAO has an exciting opportunity for a Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer to join our Cape Town based team. The successful incumbent will be developing and analyzing techniques for time and frequency transmission via RF over fibres analytically and numerically and turn these results into practical reality via engineering and assembly of the specific systems.  These systems include functional blocks such as signal generation, transmission, detection, and frequency control of low phase noise RF signals. The work encompasses engineering systems to serve as interfaces that link atomic clocks to radio astronomy receivers and digitizers.

Minimum education requirement:

  • BEng in Electrical/Electronic Engineering

Minimum work experience required:

  • BEng with 5 years of work experience in designing, implementing and testing RF electronics and systems


  • MEng with 3 years of work experience in designing, implementing and testing RF electronics and systems

Desirable additional educational, work experience, and personal qualities:

  •  Project Management Certificate (advantageous)

Duties include (but not limited to):

  • Analyse concepts for time and frequency transmission via RF techniques over fibre analytically and numerically and turn results into design specifications
  • RF system design based on design specifications
  • Specifying, purchasing and integrating of components working up to 3GHz frequencies and laying out of printed circuit boards that might support this
  • Take responsibility for assembling and testing prototypes
  • Take responsibility for assembling and testing qualified modules for time and frequency transmission
  • Compiling documentation and writing to support the development, operations and system engineering requirements as well as verification of the above mentioned apparatus

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:

Ability to:

  • display demonstrated technical proficiency in designing, implementing and verifying RF electronic modules from design through to verification
  • display proven problem solving skills
  • deliver on short deadlines
  • work in a team towards goals defined by management, including Functional and Program Managers
  • display enthusiasm and a ‘can do’ attitude
  • communicate effectively (written and oral)
  • work and support a systems engineering function

Knowledge of:

  • Linux, and one or more Python or C/ C++ in previous projects

About The Employer

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa’s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours.

As a business unit of the NRF, SARAO is committed to employment equity and redress

Type of employment: Permanent

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