The space environment is a region that comprises the entire Solar System, but is most often defined as beginning at the lower boundary of the Earth’s ionosphere and ending at the Sun. This environment is composed of solid particles ranging in size from dust to asteroids, energetic particles such as electrons and ions, and electromagnetic radiation including x-rays and cosmic rays. Adding to this complexity is the diversity within the environment, with plasmas that span orders of magnitude in density and temperature. Our research vision is to study the space environment with particular focus on the interaction of plasmas with spacecraft. Our goals are
  1. to understand and characterize the space environment, and
  2. to determine the effects of the space environment on spacecraft health and operations.
We aspire to develop mitigation strategies for long-term survivability in space that will allow for deep space exploration.

The current State of the Lab Presentation

Characterization of the Space Environment


Orbital Debris

Neutral Densities

Space Environment Effects on Spacecraft

Hypervelocity Impact Plasma

Troposphere-Ionosphere Interactions

Hypersonic Plasma