Glenn Sugar


gsugar AT stanford DOT edu

Education history

B.A.: Astronomy and Physics, Boston University, 2010

M.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford Univerity, 2014

Current projects

Meteor Modeling

About 100 tons of meteoroids enter the Earth's atmosphere every day.  Even though most of these meteoroids are very small (less than a milligram), they are travelling very fast, between 12 and 72 km/sec.  Because of their fast speeds, these meteoroids pose a potential threat to spacecraft.  The current models of the masses and velocities of the meteroid population around Earth contain large uncertainties.  A major reason for this is that the models describing how meteoroids ablate when entering the Earth's' atmosphere require many assumptions and contain large errors.  I use data taken from some of the largest and most sensitive radars in the world (PFISR, JRO, ALTAIR) and high speed cameras to investigate large sample sizes of meteors and improve the current models, which will then improve our understanding of the overall meteoroid population.

Research interests

  • Meteor Science
  • Plasma Physics
  • Space Environment


  • NASA MSFC Intern Poster Competition Science 2nd Place, 2015
  • NDSEG Graduate Fellowship, 2013-2016
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention, 2013
  • Stanford Departmental Graduate Fellowship, 2012
  • Boston University Center for Space Physics Prize, 2010
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2010
  • CEDAR Undergraduate Honorable Mention Poster Award, 2009


  • Sugar G., A. Moorhead, P. Brown, and W. Cooke. Meteor shower detection with density-based clustering.  Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 2017.

  • Oppenheim M. M., S. Arredondo, and G. Sugar. Intense winds and shears in the equatorial lower thermosphere measured by high-resolution nonspecular meteor radar.  Journal of Geophysical Research, 119, 2014.

  • He, Hongkun, M. Zong, D. Konkolewicz, K. Yaccato, T. Rappold, G. Sugar, N. E. David, J. Gelb, N. Kotwal, A. Merkle, and K. Matyjascewski. Three-Dimensionally Ordered Macroporous Polymeric Materials by Colloidal Crystal Templating for Reversible CO2 Capture. Advanced Functional Materials, 2013.

  • He, Hongkun, M. Zong, D. Konkolewicz, K. Yaccato, T. Rappold, G. Sugar, N. E. David, and K. Matyjascewski. Carbon Black Functionalized with Hyperbranched Polymers: Synthesis, Characterization, and Application in Reversible CO2 Capture. Energy & Environmental Science, 1, 6810, 2013.

  • He, Hongkun, W. Li, M. Zong, D. Konkolewicz, D. Wu, K. Yaccato, T. Rappold, G. Sugar, N. E. David, and K. Matyjascewski. Reversible CO2 Capture with porous polymers using the humidity swing. Energy & Environmental Science, 6, 488, 2013.

  • Sugar, G., M. M. Oppenheim, E. Bass, and J. L. Chau. Nonspecular meteor trail altitude distributions and durations observed by a 50 MHz high-power radar. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, A12334, 2010.

  • Oppenheim, M. M., G. Sugar, N. O. Slowey, E. Bass, J. Chau, and S. Close.  Remote sensing lower thermosphere wind profiles using non-specular meteor echoes.  Geophysical Research Letters, 36, 2009.

  • Oppenheim, M. M., G. Sugar, E. Bass, Y. S. Dimant, and J. Chau.  Day to night variation in meteor trail measurements: Evidence for a new theory of plasma trail evolution.  Geophysical Research Letters, 35, 2008.