UMass Lowell Scientists Launch Device to Study Ionosphere from Space

A team of scientists from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, an NEC member, have built and launched device that will collect observations of Earth’s ionosphere—a layer of the atmosphere–from the International Space Station.

Researchers at UMass Lowell’s Center for Space Science and Technology will study how the ionosphere, atmosphere, and sun interact and change. Variations in the ionosphere can affect technology, including satellite communications and GPS navigation. The data will be gathered over two years on a device, built by the UMass Lowell researchers, named the Limb-Imaging Ionospheric and Thermospheric Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrograph (LITES).

“This is where we train our future space explorers, and the exciting part is that not many people could say, ‘I built something that went to space and it returned this great result’,” said Physics Professor Supriya Chakrabarti, who is leading the research project.

The New England Council congratulates UMass Lowell on the successful launch of LITES and for its ongoing study of the ionosphere. Read more in The Boston Globe and The Lowell Sun.

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