Remote Sensing and Space Science

Remote Sensing and Space Sciences is a broad discipline examining the interaction of electromagnetic fields with material media, concentrating on applications to the space sciences. It encompasses aeronomy, geosciences, atmospheric science, remote sensing, wave propagation, electro-optics, plasmascience, signal processing and communications.

Researchers carry out a wide range of theoretical and experimental programs in lidar systems, laser ranging and altimetry, optical communications, geophysical imaging, and signal and image processing.


RENOIR in Brazil

Sponsored by NASA, Remote Sensing and Space Sciences researchers deployed a suite of remote sensing instruments to two sites in northeastern Brazil to study the processes responsible for the development of irregularities in the nighttime ionosphere (200-400 km altitude).

By combining measurements from imaging, interferometry and radio receivers, researchers are investigating the coupling of the neutral and electrified atmosphere and the adverse irregularities therein can have on radio wave propagation. Instruments at the two sites will be coordinated to make measurements of the same physical phenomena at high spatial and temporal resolution. This instrumentation will complement other sites that CSL researchers are working with in South America, including Chile and Peru.

Andes Lidar Observatory

A sodium lidar system to measure winds and temperature in the upper mesosphere (80-110 km altitude) has been deployed to the University of Illinois Andes Lidar Observatory at Cerro Pachon, Chile. Researchers also installed a meteor radar, imagers and photometers at this site. The consortium of instruments will study the Atmospheric Gravity Waves (AGWs) and tidal waves present in this mountainous region, known for having a very active source of mountain forced waves. The studies will include their effects on the atmospheric circulation and instabilities at these upper altitudes.

3-Dimensional Solar Tomography

Researchers lead projects that offer the first systematic and comprehensive unraveling of the 3-D structure of the solar atmosphere (plasma density and temperature), incorporating computational imaging techniques with measurements from highly specialized instrumentation on NASA satellites and at NSF groundbased observatories. This research has profound implications for energy sources in the solar-terrestrial system and transient space weather phenomena that have potentially adverse effects on geo-space operations.

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