PhD student position in Space Physics

Vacancy for a PhD student for the project "Auroral processes in the ionosphere and thermosphere using ground-based optical observations combined with other instruments." Ref no. 134-152/08

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna invites applications for a PhD student position in Space Physics. The National Graduate School of Space Technology (at Luleň University of Technology) will support the position financially for a period of up to 5 years.

Observations of optical emissions from the ionosphere, for example aurora, have during the last couple of years gone from qualitative measurements to quantitative studies with high spatial and temporal resolution. This has opened up new possibilities to study a wide range of hitherto unexplained phenomena concerning aurora and associated plasma physics processes. With IRF's unique facility ALIS (Auroral Large Imaging System) we conduct absolute measurements of different auroral emissions. ALIS consists of six stations in northernmost Sweden and Norway, each equipped with a very sensitive imaging CCD detector. Recently we have also acquired an EMCCD detector allowing measurements with even better temporal resolution.

Often, ALIS measurements are combined with measurements from other instruments, for example EISCAT and different satellite instruments. We now offer a PhD position for analysis of data from ALIS and for associated development of models and methods. To interpret measurements of optical emissions it is necessary to model how the auroral primary particles are decelerated in the ionosphere and how a part of their energy is converted to light quanta. Tomography-like methods are often used in the data analysis. The data analysis offers possibilities to apply different image processing methods.

Applicants should have a university degree in physics or a closely related subject. IRF is engaged in international projects so a good knowledge of English is required.

The application should include: Ref. no. 134-152/08, a personal letter, CV, copies of diplomas and grades, name and contact information for two referees (people who know your capabilities), and other relevant certificates and documents, for example regarding previous employment. It can be sent electronically to, or by mail to Registrator, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, P.O. Box 812, SE-981 28 Kiruna.

For further information contact Prof. Ingrid Sandahl, (auroraphd* More information about our research can be found at

Review of applications will commence at once and continue until the position is filled (which may be prior to 2009-01-01).

Last Application Date: 2009-01-01

Created 2008-11-04 19:03:54 by Rick McGregor
Last changed 2008-11-04 19:03:54 by Rick McGregor

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute which conducts research and postgraduate education in atmospheric physics, space physics and space technology. Measurements are made in the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and around other planets with the help of ground-based equipment (including radar), stratospheric balloons and satellites. IRF was established (as Kiruna Geophysical Observatory) in 1957 and its first satellite instrument was launched in 1968. The head office is in Kiruna (geographic coordinates 67.84░ N, 20.41░ E) and IRF also has offices in Umeň, Uppsala and Lund.