The Center for Space and Atmospheric Research (CSAR) studies the fundamental physics of Planetary Atmospheres and Space Environments. These systems include the complex and highly-coupled Atmosphere, Ionosphere, and Magnetosphere (AIM) systems of Earth and other planets. The members of CSAR will bring scientific competencies spanning the realms of theory, modeling, observation, and experiment, as they apply to each region of the AIM system. Specifically, the Center for Space & Atmospheric Research endeavors to do the following:

  • To develop world-class facilities for experimentation, observation, theory, and computational modeling and simulation;
  • To build on networking and scientific collaboration that lead to larger scale research projects;
  • To be Florida’s center of space development and workforce education;
  • To engage the commercial spaceflight industry, providing environmental monitoring and modeling to reduce flight hazards; and
  • To provide education and outreach activities to enhance awareness of space and atmospheric science and engineering, and to help attract outstanding students to our academic programs – BS, MS, and PhD.


The center will evolve and respond both to existing and to new opportunities in Space and Atmospheric Science and Engineering research. It will seek out and address basic and applied research projects from all sources. It will also focus attention on the ever-evolving space program and its growing role in the economies of Florida and the nation.

Research Areas

Atmospheric Sciences and Aeronomy

  • Acoustic and gravity waves
  • Computational gas and fluid dynamics
  • Global circulation and climate
  • Mesosphere and lower thermosphere dynamics
  • Upper atmosphere physics, composition and chemistry
  • Planetary aeronomy
  • Remote sensing: LIDAR, Imaging and spectroscopy

Space and Magnetospheric Physics

  • Computational Plasma Physics
  • Electrodynamics of the ionosphere
  • Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities and turbulence in magnetized plasmas
  • Electrodynamics of magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions
  • Plasma wave mode analysis from in-situ spacecraft observations
  • Solar wind-magnetosphere interactions


  • Dr. Aroh Barjatya – Associate Professor
  • Dr. Christina Chu - Assistant Research Professor
  • Dr. Kshitija Deshpande - Assistant Professor
  • Dr. David Fritts - Research Professor (also at GATS, Boulder, CO)
  • Dr. Scott Welland - Research Associate at GATS, Boulder, CO
  • Dr. Suranga Dharmarathne - Research Associate at GATS, Boulder, CO
  • Dr. Ling Wang - Research Associate at GATS, Boulder, CO
  • Mr. Wenjun Dong - Research Intern at GATS, Boulder, CO
  • Dr. Christopher Heale - Research Associate
  • Dr. Michael P. Hickey – Professor, CSAR Director
  • Dr. Ashley Kehoe - Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Alan Z. Liu – Professor
  • Dr. Xuanye Ma - Assistant Research Professor
  • Dr. Edwin J. Mierkiewicz – Associate Professor
  • Dr. Katariina Nykyri – Professor, CSAR Associate Director
  • Dr. Roberto Sabatini - Research Associate
  • Dr. Jonathan B. Snively – Assocaite Professor
  • Dr. Anatoly V. Streltsov – Professor
  • Dr. Matthew D. Zettergren – Associate Professor

Facilities and Affiliated Laboratories

  • Laboratory for Exosphere and Near-Space Environment Studies (LENSES) – Mierkiewicz, et al.
  • Laboratory for Solar and Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Research (LaSMIR) – Nykyri, Streltsov, et al.
  • Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL) – Liu, Snively, Zettergren, et al.
  • Experimental and Computational Laboratory for Atmospheric and Ionospheric Research (ÉCLAIR) – Hickey, Liu, Snively, Zettergren, et al.
  • Space and Atmospheric Instrumentation Laboratory (SAIL) – Barjatya et al.
  • Laboratory of Electro-Optic Systems (LEOS) – Liu et al.

Research Projects

  • CEDAR: Physics of the Hydrogen Geocorona
  • Dynamics in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere over the Andes Lidar Observatory
  • Electromagnetic Waves and Particles in Earth's Radiation Belt
  • Measuring Interstellar Temperature and Ionization Variations Using Observations of Faint Diffuse [OII] Emission
  • MRI: Acquisition of a High Power, Tunable Diode Laser to Upgrade the Na Lidar System at the Andes Lidar Observatory
  • Observations and Analysis of Wave-Induced Constituent Transport in the Mesopause Region
  • Space Plasma Physics
  • The Lunar Sodium Atmosphere: from the Surface to the Exotail

Contact Us

Dr. Jonathan Snively
Professor and Director of the Center for Space and Atmospheric Research (CSAR)