The Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Research Laboratory (MIRL) at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), University of New Hampshire contributes to a variety of research projects in space physics. The lab primarily focuses on the development of instrumentation for ground-based, rocket-based, and satellite observations of space physics phenomena and analysis of the resulting observations.

Current research projects include:

  • Ground-based observations from ultra low frequency (ULF) and extremely low frequency (ELF) search-coil magnetometers for the study of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and its relationship with auroral phenomena.
  • Rocket-borne observations from a low light imager, UV Photomultiplier Tube, particle detector for in-situ auroral measurements.
  • Data analysis from a variety of satellite data including the recently launched e-POP satellite.

Updated News

  • 18 October 2016 -- Balloon Launches Introduce Students to Space Science: High school students launch their own high-altitude payloads and learn from their successes and failures through a science research training program led by the University of New Hampshire.

  • Photo: A high-altitude balloon launch from July 2014 with a payload, designed by students, below the ascending balloon. The students were part of the University of New Hampshire's Project SMART (Science and Math Advancement through Research Training). (Photo credit: UNH)

  • 24 September 2016 -- MIRL is part of a new sounding rocket campaign coming up in February, 2017 called ISINGLASS, led by Dr. Kristina Lynch and her group at Dartmouth College. MIRL is providing its ERPA instruments to measure electron temperature.

  • UNH graduate students David Kenward, Kristoff Paulson (photo credit), and Bruce Fritz have been supporting integration at the NASA integration facility at Wallops Island, VA. One of the ERPAs is pictured atop one of two separate payloads that will launch from Poker Flat, AK in just a few months!

  • 31 August 2016 -- The UNH ULF network of sensors has recently grown. Marc Lessard and David Kenward travelled to Gakona, AK to install an induction coil magnetometer system. UNH scientists use these systems to monitor actiivty in the ionosphere and magnetosphere, often thousands of miles above the surface of the Earth.

  • UNH graduate student David Kenward is seen here putting the new magnetometer coils in place. Eventually the coils will be buried under the rocks and dirt to protect from the elements.

  • If you are ever curious about when and where you can spot the International Space Station, NASA an app for that!

  • 8 July 2016 -- Women with technical degrees in science or engineering have great success finding jobs in the current market.

  • 13 May 2016 -- NASA's MMS mission issued a major news release this week about the initial findings from the first six months of operation. From the release:

    "A new paper printed on May 12, 2016, in Science provides the first observations from inside a magnetic reconnection event. The research shows that magnetic reconnection is dominated by the physics of electrons - thus providing crucial information about what powers this fundamental process in nature."

    UNH and SwRI are key contributors to the mission and have much to be excited about with this news. In related news, three MIRL alum have been part of the MMS data team. Allison Jaynes, currently at LASP in Colorado, Ian Cohen, currently at the Applied Physics Laboratory, and Matthew Argall, at UNH, were all listed as co-authors on a paper by Dr. Jim Burch just published in Science and one of the flagship publications for MMS. Congratulations Matt, Ian and Allison!!!

  • 11 May 2016 -- WMUR recently visited UNH for their "Weather Wednesday" segment to learn about the space research being done here on campus. Meteorologist Kevin Skarupa of WMUR interviews Dr. Nathan Schwadron about the Voyager mission, Dr. Andrew Jordan about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Dr. Roy Torbert about MMS.

  • 18 April 2016 -- Our friends in Longyearbyen were recently featured in an article highlighting research throughout Europe. The article features quotes from people at UNIS, KHO, and EISCAT, all key contributors to the success of RENU 2!

  • 20 February 2016 -- Cold, snowy winter got you down? There's reason to cheer up at the University of New Hampshire, home to the Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Research Lab. has deemed UNH the country's most beautiful college in the winter!

  • 13 December 2015 -- RENU 2 launched successfully into the dayside cusp!!! A short news release has been posted by the Andoya Space Center website.

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