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Sushil Kumar

Lecturer
physics
University of south pacific
Fiji

Biography

have more than 20 years of experience in research (Atmospheric and Space Physics) and teaching at various universities and Institutes. I have carried out collaborative work with national research institutes/universities in India namely: Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Bombay, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. I have initiated  the research activities at the USP in the area of Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Very low frequency (VLF) under research grant from university in collaboration with World-Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN), University of Washington, USA (pls visit webflash.ess.washington.edu/). My recent research is supported by Space, Telecommunications and Radio Science (STAR) laboratory, Stanford University, USA, under the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY 2007) project supported by UN/NASA. My research is supported through the university funding and technical, scientific & instrumental support is provided by collaborators. I graduated with MSc Physics with Electronics from St. John’s College (Agra University), India, in 1989. year 1989 and PG Diploma in Space Science and Applications from Gujarat University, India, in 1990. My Ph.D. in Physics (Space Physics) from Barkatullah University, Bhopal, India, in 1994, dealt with Experimental study of VHF ionospheric scintillations, experimental and theoretical study of whistler and related phenomena at low latitudes. The PhD work was carried out under the All India Coordinated Program on Ionospheric Thermospheric Studies (AICPITS) sponsored by Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. I had participated in the XVIIIth Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, during December 1998 to March 1999, during my post-doctoral fellowship.

Research Interest

My current areas of research interest are; • Remote sensing of upper atmosphere using ELF/VLF radio wave technique Lightning discharges are natural powerful transmitters of wide electromagnetic spectrum with maximum energy in the VLF and ELF bands. The energy contained in impulse like signals called radio atmospheric or sferics is guided for long distance by multiple reflections from ground/ocean and lower ionosphere. A part of energy sometimes propagates along earth’s magnetic field lines in the ionosphere and magnetosphere and is received as ‘whistlers’. The received signals at long distances contain a great deal of information about the state of ionosphere and magnetosphere along the path and form a novel tool for research and navigational communication. A facility called “SoftPAL” software base Amplitude and Phase recording of Very Low Frequency (VLF) transmitters was established in Sept. 2006 that is used to study the perturbations of VLF propagation due to strong lightnings, solar flares and earthquakes. A new state of art ELF-VLF data recording and analysis System called Atmospheric Weather Electromagnetic System for Observation Modeling and Education (AWESOME) was installed in July 2009. • Space Weather and its Technological Impacts The Space Weather (http://www.spaceweather.com) is related with the change in upper atmosphere due to solar disturbances. Southward Interplanetary Magnetic fields (IMF BS) interconnects with the northward Earth’s magnetic field and permit solar wind energy transport into the Earth’s magnetosphere forming geomagnetic storms which cause severe amplitude and phase scintillations/perturbations on signals used in satellite communications and Global Positioning System (GPS). The depression in the horizontal component (H) of the earth’s magnetic field lasting over several hours is the characteristic signature of a geomagnetic storm. A geomagnetic storm is caused by the ring current encircling the earth in the westward direction and can be monitored by the geomagnetic index ‘Dst’. F2-region response of a geomagnetic storm is called an ionospheric storm. Currently, efforts are being made to set-up the GPS- GSV4004B to study the Space weather impacts on Ionospheric electron content and L band scintillation in the South Pacific Region. A clear understanding of interplanetary causes of geomagnetic storms and ionospheric storms should help better in understanding the so called Space Weather Research and Forecasting. • Climate Change (Upper and Lower Atmosphere): Natural Hazards Study of natural hazards is important for scientific interest as well as to reduce the damages by extreme natural events. The threats due these events are increasing due to increase in population, economic and infrastructure development etc. mainly in terms of cost. Also the rising concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are producing the global warming in lower atmosphere and the cooling in the upper atmosphere (ionosphere) starting from 50 km or so. The global climate models indicate relatively more frequent severe weather events such as tropical cyclones and resulting floods. The South Pacific Region, in particular, is highly vulnerable to the natural hazards such as severe earthquakes that may also result in tsunami and cyclones which may cause severe floods etc. • Plasma waves, fields and currents in the magnetosphere A wide variety of plasma waves can be excited in the magnetosphere under different plasma conditions. The magnetospheric electric fields and currents are important parameters for magnetospheric processes. The study of these waves is useful in understanding the various astrophysical and geophysical phenomena and numerous plasma applications. We study plasma waves to understand the physics of natural plasmas. Much of the known matter in the universe exists in the plasma state ( 99.9%).

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