Research Profile Experience

The following briefly describes my research during my Bachelor of Science Degree (Honours project) and Graduate studies in the Division of Solar Terrestrial and Space Physics at La Trobe University, in Melbourne, Australia.

Bachelor of Science Degree (Honours), Research Project

Primary aim

  • to detect the Auroral Oval: analysed oblique sounding capabilities of the La Trobe University HF Radar [Advanced Digital Ionospheric Sounder (Lowell Digisonde 256)] incorporating Delta / Rhombic transmitting and a 7 array loop receiving antenna system. In 1988, my findings were proven correct by actual observation of the Auroral oval at the predetermined location using the derived system specifications.

Secondary aim

  • developed model to show when irregularities are present in the ionosphere by comparing the second to first ionospheric hop width ratio at vertical incidence.

Master of Science / Doctor of Philosophy [Ph.D.], Research Thesis (Part/Time)

Studied the Earth's Ionosphere: examined effects observed on ionograms (swept- frequency vs virtual height records) recorded with high resolution in frequency over limited ranges in both frequency and height; observed effects include trace splitting and quasi- horizontal trace segments in frequency spread F (Bowman, 1988, Univ. of Queensland)

  • Developed numerical / analytical models: simulations for a parabolic layer containing irregularities in form of small amplitude waves suggest that, at least in some cases, small amplitude (less than or equal to 3%) and small scale (less than or equal to 4km) irregularities produce such effects. Analytical models were comparable to numerical models in accuracy but significantly faster. Published work in Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics. Conducted experiments to observe effects at higher latitude using the La Trobe AIS: some similarities to simulations observed. Developed further appropriate analytical models (e.g. traveling ionospheric disturbances / small amplitude, small-scale irregularities) on which ray-tracing techniques were applied to examine some observations.

  • Included angle of arrival / Doppler measurements which, together with the high resolution echo power ionograms, offer significantly more detail on the ionospheric structure present, including information on the structure of previously unresolved frequency spread F observations of more conventional ionosondes.During initial stages, spent time at University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Atmospheric Research, USA, to discuss operation problems of our Digisonde. On obtaining security clearance with their Office of International Affairs, I visited NASA Kennedy Spaceflight Center, Florida, for a tour of secured sections of the facility, including experiment rooms, astronaut debriefing / medical areas, test fitting room for shuttle payloads.

Research Computing Requirements

As for a lot of graduate research, I used computers for experimental system control, data analysis, model design, simulation of observations. Academic environments provide the opportunity to use a large range of systems/networks/languages, many of which are at the leading edge of technology. Taking the challenge to use each to its potential, I have developed a sharp learning curve and the ability to adapt quickly.

Research Pages:  Experience  |  Ionosphere  |  Space
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