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Robert W Schunk

Robert W Schunk

Center for Atmospheric & Space Sciences

Director, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences and Professor of Physics

Contact Information

Office Location: SER Building, Room 246A
Phone: 435-797-2978 Fax: 435-797-2992
Email: robert.schunk@usu.edu

Educational Background:

 During his career, Dr. Schunk has developed numerous computer models of space physics phenomena, regions, and spacecraft-environment interactions. With colleagues, he developed unique 3-dimensional time-dependent models of the ionosphere, polar wind, plasmasphere, thermosphere, exosphere, plasma cloud expansions, and ionosphere/high voltage sphere interactions. He also studied processes in the solar wind, Venus, Jupiter, and comets, as well as basic plasma physics phenomena such as plasma transport, contact potentials, electron-beam plasma interactions, shocks, and nonlinear wave-particle and wave-wave coupling. In addition, he conducted numerous studies comparing model predictions with measurements, using data from several coherent and incoherent scatter radars, ionosondes, rockets, satellites, and the space shuttle. In recent years, Dr. Schunk’s research has focused on the development of both Gauss-Markov and physics-based data assimilation models using Kalman filters, and he has developed a new ionosphere-plasmasphere model that was specifically designed for a physics-based, Kalman filter, data assimilation model. One of the ionosphere data assimilation models is now running at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA). Professor Schunk also co-authored a book entitled Ionospheres, edited two books, authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific publications, and gave or contributed to more than 700 presentations at national and international meetings. He has been the chair or member of many national committees and review panels serving NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) – National Research Council, including the NAS Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (2000). He has also been a chair or member of numerous international scientific organizations, including the AGU, EGU, COSPAR, URSI, IAGA, etc.

Biography

During his career, Dr. Schunk has developed numerous computer models of space physics phenomena, regions, and spacecraft-environment interactions. With colleagues, he developed unique 3-dimensional time-dependent models of the ionosphere, polar wind, plasmasphere, thermosphere, exosphere, plasma cloud expansions, and ionosphere/high voltage sphere interactions. He also studied processes in the solar wind, Venus, Jupiter, and comets, as well as basic plasma physics phenomena such as plasma transport, contact potentials, electron-beam plasma interactions, shocks, and nonlinear wave-particle and wave-wave coupling.

In addition, he conducted numerous studies comparing model predictions with measurements, using data from several coherent and incoherent scatter radars, ionosondes, rockets, satellites, and the space shuttle. In recent years, Dr. Schunk’s research has focused on the development of both Gauss-Markov and physics-based data assimilation models using Kalman filters, and he has developed a new ionosphere-plasmasphere model that was specifically designed for a physics-based, Kalman filter, data assimilation model. One of the ionosphere data assimilation models is now running at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA).

Professor Schunk also co-authored a book entitled Ionospheres, edited two books, authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific publications, and gave or contributed to more than 700 presentations at national and international meetings. He has been the chair or member of many national committees and review panels serving NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) – National Research Council, including the NAS Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (2000). He has also been a chair or member of numerous international scientific organizations, including the AGU, EGU, COSPAR, URSI, IAGA, etc.