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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Middle and high latitude multi-instrument multi-model studies of ionospheric irregularities


Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Battle Space Environment

opportunity location
13.40.12.C0792 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776


name email phone
Jeffrey Morgan Holmes 505-377-6082



Accurate measurement and reconstruction of small- to medium-scale structure in the ionosphere is critical to understanding system effects and the geophysical processes that drive these phenomena.  The Ionospheric Impacts section at the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate is charged with providing expertise on ionospheric phenomena that impact Department of Defense (DoD) systems.  The section is the official ionospheric research component of the USAF and USSF.

Owing to changes in the geopolitical climate, AFRL and operators in the USSF and USAF have recognized the need to increase investment in middle-to-high latitude ionospheric irregularity research and development.  To that end, Ionospheric Impacts section members contributed to the drafting of the implementation roadmap for the 2020 Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy. 

We seek to find improved ways to observe and model ionospheric irregularities and scintillation structures associated with the subauroral (e.g. SAPS and STEVE), auroral, and polar (e.g. polar cap patches) ionosphere.  Current areas of interest include: ionospheric sensing using dense arrays of auroral HF receivers; combined ground- and satellite-based sensing of sporadic-E layers; array-based imaging of ionospheric structures using natural and anthropogenic signals of opportunity; wideband riometry of auroral precipitation; physics-based modeling of the ionosphere and irregularities from subauroral to the pole; combined radio and airglow ionospheric data assimilation; and bistatic adaptations of the SuperDARN radars.


1. Obenberger, K. S.Dowell, J.Fallen, C. T.Holmes, J. M.Taylor, G. B., & Varghese, S. S. (2021). Using broadband radio noise from power-lines to map and track dense Es structuresRadio Science56, e2020RS007169.

2. Negale, M. R., Holmes, J. M., Parris, R. T., Ober, D., Dao, E. V., Kelly, R. F., et al. (2020). Using data assimilation to reconstruct high-latitude polar cap patches. Radio Science, 55, e2019RS006937.

3. Obenberger, K.S., Bowman, D., & Dao, E. (2022), Identification of Acoustic Wave Signatures in the Ionosphere From Conventional Surface Explosions Using MF/HF Doppler Sounding, Radio Science, 56, 2

key words
radio imaging; optical imaging; remote sensing; airglow; aurora; ionosphere; traveling ionospheric disturbances; polar cap; sporadic-E; ionospheric irregularities


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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