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The background video is the deployment of the MinXSS-1 Cubeat from the International Space Station. Images courtesy of NASA astronaut Tim Peake.
My Projects: Data Analysis + Instrumentation + Technology Development
I am interested in the near surface solar magnetic field (strength, structure, evolution), the fundamental physical processes that drive the dynamics in the solar atmosphere (energy dissipation, plasma transport, etc.) and how their corresponding signatures manifest themselves in observables like radiation (especially X-rays and ultraviolet radiation).
Solar Soft X-ray Spectra
The solar soft X-ray spectral irradiance variations due to flares has profound impacts on Earth's ionosphere (and other solar system planets and moons). I (and other Team members) have analyzed and compiled both spectrally integrated (GOES XRS, Hinode XRT) and spectrally resolved variations (MinXSS-1, MinXSS-2, SPhinX, NuSTAR, and RHESSI). Solar flares generate plasma in excess of 10 MK,an increase in soft X-ray flux greater than 1,000 times (see Figure to the left from Moore et al. 2018). The 0.5 - 5 keV portion of the solar spectrum has been sparsely measured in the past. Hence the MinXSS CubeSats were designed to fill this observational gap.
Solar Magnetic Variability
Near Surface magnetic fields drives the atmospheric variability of stars. This is very evident in stars around the mass of the Sun and less massive. Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and X-ray radiation are direct probes of this magnetic activity. I (and Team members) are working to better characterize and uncover how various magnetic properties and cycles create and modulate the coronae of stars. The video (to the right) demonstrates how magnetic actives regions and flares confine the hottest plasma and emit the brightest EUV and X-ray emissions.
New High Speed Detectors
We are working to develop and utilize sub-second readout speed pixelated detectors along with Miniature X-ray Optics (MiXO) for future astronomical (SmallSat Explorer for Exospheres of hot Jupiters; SEEJ) and solar observations (SmallSat Solar Activity X-ray Imager; SSAXI). These new detectors will allow improved dynamics on high energy radiation.
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