The primary focus of research done in the Space Physics Research Lab is to investigate the composition, dynamics and electrodynamic processes of the Earth’s middle and upper atmosphere and ionosphere using both active and passive remote sensing instruments.
Research projects at SPRL are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Over a dozen graduate and undergraduate students are supported to participate in these research projects and data collected by SPRL researchers is available to the scientific community to support their science initiatives.
Currently SPRL hosts 2 GNSS receivers which have been continuously collecting data since Spring of 2018. Some of the projects using this data have included: developing data parsing, data collection, and data analysis software for science-grade receivers, multipath removal from data and the identification of scintillation events correlated to geomagnetic storms, solar eclipses as well as thunderstorms.
SPRL also supports instrument developments and calibration for the Andes Lidar Observatory (ALO) in Cerro Pachón, Chile. ALO is a middle and upper atmosphere observatory managed by Dr. Alan Liu. Two Ph.D. students are currently working on two NSF projects that support the operation of a Na wind/temperature lidar and the construction of an advanced meteor radar system at ALO.
The SPRL, which was founded by Dr. Gulamabas Sivjee, was among the first externally funded basic research laboratories on campus.