Ryan Volz

Ryan at Jicamarca

Current Position

Postdoctoral Associate at MIT Haystack Observatory in the Atmospheric Sciences Group

Contact

rvolz AT mit DOT edu

Education history

B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Penn State University, 2007

M.Phil., Engineering, Cambridge University, 2008

M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2009

Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2015

Ph.D. Thesis

My Ph.D. thesis and defense presentation are available on Github. Download the thesis, presentation, presentation with movies, or browse the source text and code at github.com/ryanvolz.

My primary research focus is applying the theory of compressed sensing to make better radar measurements of meteors in Earth's upper atmosphere. Traditional matched filter processing techniques leave a lot to be desired when trying to image the detailed, distributed structure of a plasma. Using a forward model and sparse reconstruction through compressed sensing, we hope to get a better idea of how meteor plasma evolves so we can be more confident in deriving properties of the parent meteoroid.

Matched filter processing of a meteor head and trail seen with the Jicamarca Incoherent Scatter Radar Matched filter processing of a meteor head and trail seen with the Jicamarca Incoherent Scatter Radar

Compressed sensing processing of a meteor head and trail seen with the Jicamarca Incoherent Scatter Radar Compressed sensing processing of a meteor head and trail seen with the Jicamarca Incoherent Scatter Radar

To complement the compressed sensing work, I am also experimenting with transmitter pulse waveforms to look for strengths and weaknesses of different encodings and what artifacts they may introduce into the results. Naturally, a good bit of my research effort goes into processing and interpreting radar data, so I'm always looking for ways to improve that process with techniques from optimization, image processing, and machine learning.

Research interests

Aside from the specific things I'm working on as described above, my interests mostly center on doing cool things with information: applications of machine learning, control theory, information theory, signal processing, and the list goes on.

Awards

  • 3rd prize, Second International URSI Student Paper Competition, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011.
  • NDSEG Graduate Fellowship, 2008-2011.

Publications

Journal Papers

Conference Proceedings

Presentations and Posters

Curriculum Vitae

CV