UML received a NASA grant to develop a high-capability Planetary Advanced Radio Sounder (PARS). This high-power, high-data rate remote-sensing instrument will provide critical and diverse measurements necessary for detection of subsurface oceans and for characterization of ionospheres of moons, magnetosphere-moon interactions, and permanent or induced magnetic fields for missions to icy moons and other bodies in the solar system. This information is critical to determining if life is possible on moons of this type.

The first opportunity to fly the PARS instrument is on the nuclear electric power and propulsion (NEPP) enabled Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission whose scientific objectives include determining the presence and distribution of subsurface water in the icy moons and determining the nature of magnetosphere-moon interactions [Science Forum, 2003].


The Australian TELSTRA Corporation gave close to two million dollars to UML for the development of a network of fourteen Digisondes for deployment in Australia. This network now provides real time information on the status of the earth's ionosphere to the Australian Over-the-Horizon Radar Operations Center that monitors the airplane and ship traffic to control illegal drug flow into the country.


Started in April 1996, UML and the Communications Research Laboratory in Tokyo, Japan, jointly sponsored a large international campaign, the Pacific Region Equatorial Anomaly Studies in Asia (PREASA). An eleven year program is planned to investigate the solar cycle dependence, involving scientists and institutes from Japan, USA, China, Taiwan, Russia, Australia, Canada, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and New Guinea.

The matter in space, call plasma, is so tenuous that it is invisible to human eyes. NASA launched a satellite named IMAGE equipped with instruments using cutting edge technology and ideas to take pictures of the invisible materials in space. Onboard IMAGE is the radio plasma imager (RPI) built here at UML using the technologies we developed for ionospheric sounding from the ground. This new technique, combined with the mathematical density inversion algorithm, measures the plasma density in situ at the satellite location and remotely and near instantaneously along a magnetic field line from one hemisphere to the other down to as low as half an Earth radius (Re) in altitude. From these observations, we are developing empirical models that specify the density as functions of radial distance, latitude, local time, and distance along the field line from the earth’s surface, solar wind conditions, geomagnetic conditions, and other possible factors that affect density distributions. The models can describe the statistical behaviors of the plasma distribution and can also provide snapshots of the plasma conditions on occasions. In one example with 6 continuous measurements in 20 min, a two-dimensional (2-D) density snapshot in a morning meridian plane is derived. Dynamical processes that cause variations from the average models, such as plasmasphere depletion/refilling processes, plasma convection tail formation, and polar cap density enhancements during magnetically active periods can be studied.


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) funded a four-year, three million dollar research program for studying the electrodynamics of the ionosphere using digital ionosonde and other HF techniques. The research involves equatorial ionospheric irregularities, polar cap monitoring of the ionosphere, ionospheric modification diagnostics, visualization technique development for display of multidimensional geophysical data/models, and the development of a low power and space borne digital ionosonde.


Publications Presentations
Untitled Document

600 Suffolk Street, Suite 315
Lowell, MA 01854
Tel: 978-934-4900
Fax: 978-459-7915