The Space Physics Research Lab is used primarily by faculty and students for basic research, emphasizing ground-based measurements of optical emissions associated with aurora and airglow in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Students also use these optical signatures to study dynamics and processes in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.
Students are involved in scientific data analysis, computational modeling, and optical instrument development and calibration, and they mainly use IDL, MATLAB, and Fortran, for computational modeling and data processing. The lab includes visible and near-infrared imaging systems and spectroscopic instruments, including Michelson and Fabry-Perot interferometers, photometers, and spectrometers. It also houses extensive optical calibration equipment.
The SPRL, which was founded by Dr. Gulamabas Sivjee, was among the first externally funded basic research laboratories on campus.