Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division
Head of the division: Prof. Dibyendu Chakrabarty
Deputy Head-1: Prof. Lokesh Kumar Sahu
Deputy Head-2: Prof. Som Kumar Sharma
OverviewThe research activities in the Space and Atmospheric Sciences (SPA-SC) Division are aimed at understanding the radiative, chemical, ionization, and dynamical processes in the Earth's atmosphere and near-Earth space environment by employing state-of-the-art and in-house built rocket-, balloon, and ground-based experiments, optical and radio probing techniques, laboratory experiments along with theoretical simulation, numerical modelling, artificial intelligence/machine learning tools. The current research foci of the Division include Sun-Earth interactions, space weather and its effect on societal applications, coupling, energetics and dynamics of atmospheric regions, investigations of solar disturbances/geomagnetic storms, global-scale atmospheric circulation, characterization of aerosols and their impact on Earth’s radiation budget, studies of trace gases, volatile organic compounds and their effects on the atmosphere, cloud and boundary layer dynamics, and global warming/ climate change. Opportunities also exist for use of data from the experiments of upcoming Indian space missions like Aditya-L1, dual-aeronomy satellite mission DISHA (Disturbed and quiet time Ionosphere-thermosphere System at High Altitudes), and missions to Venus/Mars.
Broad Research Areas
Under the broader area of space physics, the SPASC division is involved in the investigations of solar terrestrial interactions, solar effects on the interplanetary medium, earth’s magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere interactions, space weather and its effects on societal applications, mesosphere-lower thermosphere dynamics, building of ground- and space-based optical and radio instruments. The Division is gearing up to play an important role in the forthcoming Indian satellite programs, namely, Aditya-L1 mission, the dual satellite Aeronomy mission, DISHA, and missions to Venus/Mars, wherein PRL is the Science lead of ISRO’s DISHA mission.
Various space-based payloads are getting ready, namely, Aditya Solar wind Particle EXperiment (ASPEX) for Aditya-L1 mission, Langmuir Probe (LP), Drift Meter (DM) and Airglow photometer (AP) for DISHA mission and Narrow-band Airglow emissions for Venusian Atmosphere (NAVA) for Venus mission. These space-based measurements will open up unprecedented opportunities to pursue cutting-edge science that is at the forefront of global research.
SPA-SC faculty are playing lead roles in major international programs such as the PRESTO (Predictability of the Variable Solar-Terrestrial Coupling) of the Scientific Committee on Solar -Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP).
The research in this area pertains to study of physicochemical and radiative processes in the lower atmosphere, tropospheric-stratospheric interactions, and middle-atmospheric dynamics, wherein high quality and outstanding research with focus on characterisation of atmospheric aerosols, their spatial and temporal variations, their linkages with physical, chemical and dynamical process and their impact on environment, radiation budget, radiative forcing and climate are conducted through state-of-the-art observations and modelling studies, in addition to measurement and modelling of ozone, volatile organic compounds and other trace gases, cloud characteristics and boundary layer dynamics. SPA-SC faculty lead several projects of ISRO, namely, the Atmospheric Trace Gases-Chemistry, Transport, and Modelling (AT-CTM), Indian Lidar Network (ILIN) under the ISRO Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and serve as Principal Investigator in Aerosol Radiative Forcing Over India (ARFI) under the IGBP, and the National Carbonaceous Aerosols Programme (NCAP) Carbonaceous Aerosol Emissions, Source apportionment and Climate impacts (COALESCE) under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.
The research work in this Division involves dealing with various experimental data obtained through various ground- and space-based experiments and building theoretical framework and simulations to explain and compare the observed results.
The divisional activities include strong experimental programs in various domains of atmospheric and space sciences utilizing state-of-the-art instruments as follows:
Courses offered to research fellows
Prerequisites: [Background in Physics, Applied Physics, Space Physics, Atmospheric Sciences Climate Science/Climate Change studies]
For more information regarding the divisional activities and queries please contact the Chairperson, Space and Atmospheric Sciences division.