The ionosphere of Earth is the layer of ionized atmosphere above the stratosphere that extends into space. This layer is important for dynamics that can affect the atmosphere below as well as out in the magnetosphere. Ionospheric research at SwRI focuses on both in-situ and remote sensing techniques for investigating the physics of the near-Earth plasma in the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Current research topics include: instrument development for sounding rocket and satellite payloads such as GREECE, ground-based auroral imaging and photometry, incoherent scatter radar observations from multiple sites around the world. Radar and optical observations of meteors are also used to gain insight into the ionospheric and mesospheric processes associated with meteor ablation and dust deposition.
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