4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Location: SLC 2.303
Dr. Fabiano S. Rodrigues (UT Dallas)
The W. B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences at UT Dallas is well-recognized for investigations of the Earth’s ionosphere using in-situ measurements made by their particle sensors on satellites and rockets. In this talk, I will provide an overview of some of the recent efforts, within the center, on studies of the equatorial ionosphere using radio systems; ground-based radars in particular. In addition to complementing the research activities of the center, our efforts have enabled new educational and training opportunities for students interested in space sciences and related areas. The presentation will start with a brief introduction to the ionosphere, with examples of fundamental scientific challenges in the equatorial region. It will also illustrate the importance of the ionosphere for various civil and military technological applications. The presentation will then follow with a description of the radar techniques used for ionospheric observations. Some of the facilities available for ionospheric research will be presented. Those include the incoherent scatter radar of the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) in Peru, one of the largest radar systems in the world, and MELISSA, an interferometric radar system deployed in Brazil as a collaborative effort between UT Dallas, the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and JRO. Examples of measurements, challenges, and results obtained with these radar systems will be presented and discussed. The results will focus on studies related to the generation and specification of large-scale interchange instabilities in the low-latitude ionospheric plasma. We will also make an attempt to highlight the potential of combining radar observations with numerical models of the ionosphere and other types of independent observations for advancing our understanding of the equatorial ionosphere. The presentation will conclude with thoughts on future directions, and a summary of research and training opportunities in atmospheric and space sciences for students.