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Dr. Streltsov and Dr. Nykyri  (plasma and magnetosphere)

The Department of Physical Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) at Daytona Beach, FL invites applicants for 2014 Ph.D. graduate study program in the field of space plasma physics. The program includes full funding (20,000 USD stipend plus free tuition), training and education of up to 3 candidates in the fields of space plasma physics, magnetohydrodynamics, and electromagnetism. It focuses on preparation of young scientists for development of comprehensive geophysical models and highly efficient numerical algorithms describing electromagnetic waves and wave-particle interactions in the Earth’s magnetosphere and the ionosphere and utilizing and developing techniques for analyzing single and multi-spacecraft data. Students will apply results from their educational/research projects for interpretation of geophysical data collected by ground stations and satellites in several high-profile NASA and NSF programs, such as Space Weather Forecast, Radiation Belts Remediation and Active Ionospheric Experiments. Currently the Aviation and Aerospace Engineering Program at Embry-Riddle is ranked #1 in the USA by US News, and the Physics Department provides excellent conditions for studying modern geophysics including a high-performance computational facility on campus. For further details about ERAU, Physics Department and our Ph.D. program visit and  For specific questions regarding this program contact Profs. Anatoly V. Streltsov ( or Katariina Nykyri (, Department of Physical Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114, USA.

Dr. Zettergren (ionosphere, polar aurora arc)

(1)  Developing and applying algorithms to detect/estimate molecular ion
concentrations from ISR spectra.  We are currently using the PFISR radar
systems to image molecular ions enhancements near auroral arcs and
determine their role in creating plasma density cavities often observed
in the arc downward current region.  Similar data from Sondrestrom ISR
are being used in a statistical study of storm-time, MLT dependence of
heavy ions in the ionosphere.  These data are also being compared to
satellite measurements of outflowing molecular ions.

(2)  3D electrostatic modeling of polar cap arc current system effects
on plasma density structures and comparison to Resolute bay ISR
measurements.  Investigation of combined effects of ion heating,
convection, arc curvature, and flow field variations in seeding gradient
drift instabilities.

(3)  Effects of neutral winds, including gravity and acoustic waves, on
low-latitude ionospheric densities and field-aligned currents.  Direct
forcing through ion-neutral drag.  Conjugate hemisphere coupling through
dynamo electric fields and excitation of field-line resonances through
wave steepening.  We've produced a new local, coupled neutral
atmosphere-ionosphere model for the project which is now ready to be
used in a variety of GPS TEC data-model comparisons and parameter-space

(4)  2D electrodynamic simulations of the combined role of impinging
Alfven waves, ionospheric feedback, current closure, frictional heating,
recombination, and ion upflows in producing depletions and steep density
structures which feedback on the wave propagation.

(5)  Incoherent scatter radar (ISR) studies of ion upflow/outflow
studying time-dependent/hysteresis effects and the role of neutral
upwelling in increase upflow efficiency.  

(6)  Modeling of small-scale field-aligned current systems and
comparison against MICA sounding rocket observations.  Effects of these
currents on thermoelectric heat fluxes, temperature enhancements and ion

(7)  ISR and simulation studies of the role of parametrtic decay
instabilities in electron heating and upflow, and changes in

field-aligned resistivity.!
Qinxiu Li
Posted at 2013-08-23 14:13 CST
Last modified at 2013-08-23 14:13 CST
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