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Celebrating Arunima's Birthday on the Way to Antarctica

August 24, 2022

Happy Birthday, Arunima! While waiting for an ice flight in Christchurch, New Zealand, we celebrated Arunima's birthday in the hotel room 214 at Elms on August 24, 2022. This was her first birthday celebration in the Southern Hemisphere. Arunima, Jackson, Yingfei, and Dr. Chu enjoyed a birthday cake and lightened up candles.

PhD student Jackson Jandreau won NASA FINESST Award as a Future Investigator

August 18, 2022

Congratulations! The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has selected the proposal "Exploring Antarctic Gravity Waves and Their Effects on Global Energy Transport Using a Decade of Lidar Observations" submitted by Jackson Jandreau and Dr. Chu to the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology: NNH21ZDA001N-FINESST within the NASA Research Announcement (NRA): Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES-2021) for funding in the total amount of $149,983. This amount is contingent on continued relevance to SMD, the availability of funds, and the Future Investigator's satisfactory progress.

FINESST-21 received about 927 proposals. The Heliophysics Division reviewed 60 proposals and selected 14 proposals for awards. The Directors of SMD's funding Divisions at NASA Headquarters (or their designees) made the FINESST selections.

PhD student headed to Antarctica to conduct climate research with lasers

July 26, 2022

Arunima Prakash is preparing to study the upper atmosphere from one of the coldest and most desolate places on Earth: Antarctica.

Prakash, an aerospace PhD student at the University of Colorado Boulder, is studying polar mesospheric clouds and their relation to the solar cycle and polar vortex effects.

"There has been a long debate about how the solar cycle affects these clouds," Prakash said. "Past satellite observations say the sun had a dominant effect, but we're not seeing that correlation anymore. We want to study why. It could be a long-term indicator of climate change." Read More ...

Congratulations to Arunima Prakash for Winning the Best Student Oral Presentation award at the 30th International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC)

July 1st, 2022

PhD student, Arunima Prakash, won the Best Student Oral Presentation award at the 30th International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC) on July 1st, 2022. Her winning talk was entitled "Long-Term Lidar Observations of Polar Mesospheric Clouds in Antarctica for Studies of Solar Cycle and Polar Vortex Effects".

Congratulations to Arunima Prakash for Winning the CEDAR Workshop Students Poster Competition

June 24, 2022

PhD student, Miss Arunima Prakash, won the Second Place Prize in the CEDAR Students Poster Competition during the CEDAR Workshop held on June 19-24, 2022 at Austin, TX. Her winning poster was entitled "Polar Vortex or Solar Cycle: Which is the major driver of 10 years of PMC variability at McMurdo, Antarctica". FYI, CEDAR stands for Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics in the Atmospheric Region, which is a program supported by the National Science Foundation.

Congratulations to Ian Geraghty for Winning the CIRES Graduate Student Research Award

March 29, 2022

PhD student, Ian Geraghty, won the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Graduate Student Research Award! The CIRES Fellows voted unanimously to approve his application.

Congratulations to Jackson Jandreau for Winning the AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA)

Feb. 18, 2022

PhD student Jackson Jandreau won the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) for his oral presentation in AGU Fall Meeting 2021.

Lidar Lab Open House to PhD applicants and undergrad students on Feb. 18, 2022

Feb. 18, 2022

We were delighted to receive the visits from two PhD applicants: Bennett Bartel and Kawther Rouabhi, and from undergraduate students of Aerospace Department. Our PhD students, Arunima, Yingfei, Ian, and Jackson gave wonderful tours of the lidar labs, especially the colorful lasers and spectroscopy.


PhD students delivered four oral talks to AGU Fall Meeting 2021

Dec. 15, 2021

Jandreau and Chu published a new paper in Earth and Space Science on new lidar data processing techniques

Nov. 26, 2021

$3.3 million grant to advance climate and space weather research from Antarctica

Oct. 5, 2021

It is one of the coldest and most isolated places on Earth, but for a team of scientists and engineers from CU Boulder, it is the ideal location to conduct complex space-atmospheric research: the frozen tundra of Antarctica. Read More

Space metal detected above Boulder by CU team

Oct. 1, 2021

A team at the University of Colorado detected a metal layer above Boulder, adding to research on that layer done in Antarctica. PhD student Yingfei Chen made key contributions to the discovery of the space metals above Boulder. Read more of this Denver 9 News report.

Let's Talk About Gravity Waves

September 26, 2021

And no, I'm not talking about gravitational waves like those created by the collisions of blackholes and measured by the incredible LIGO instrument ... Read More

Hey hey hey! We got 1.03 W from RDL bare cavity alignment!

September 10, 2021

This week we opened up the RDL to understand its anatomy and got much more power out! All in all the laser gods were pleased! Read More

Collaborative Research: Fe and Na Lidar Investigations of Geospace-Atmosphere Temperature, Composition, Chemistry, and Dynamics at McMurdo, Antarctica

August 22, 2021

We would like to share a good news -- we received an NSF award notice on Sunday 8/22/2021 that our McMurdo renewal proposal has been funded by NSF at the full support. The total support is anticipated at ~$3.3M for 5 more years of lidar observations and science discoveries in Antarctica. Read More

Daily sodium layers appear in Boulder's sky

June 25, 2021

At about 100 km above Earth's surface, a permanent layer of neutral sodium pulled from passing meteors rests near the top of the mesosphere. Above that, scientists have observed temporary Na layers that form and then descend back to the permanent layer. Read More

Metals from space descend on Boulder, Colorado, at dusk and dawn

June 14, 2021

Sodium and other metals from space make regular--and irregular--landfall on Earth. Read More

Atmospheric Metal Layers Appear with Surprising Regularity

June 2, 2021

Twice a day, at dusk and just before dawn, a faint layer of sodium and other metals begins sinking down through the atmosphere, about 90 miles high above the city of Boulder, Colorado. The movement was captured by one of the world's most sensitive "lidar" instruments and reported Tuesday in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters. Read More

First Boulder TINa paper published in GRL

June 1, 2021

We just published a paper in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) on the first lidar observations of regular occurrence of mid-latitude thermosphere-ionosphere Na (TINa) layers over Boulder. Read More

Jackson Jandreau won the George C. and Joan A. Reid Award

May 15, 2021

Jackson Jandreau, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences who works with Dr. Xinzhao Chu, is this year's recipient of the George C. and Joan A. Reid Award. Jandreau was nominated by his advisor, Dr. Chu, who describes him as a "future professor and leader in the STEM workforce." Read More


First TIFe/TINa paper published in GRL for McMurdo

October 13, 2020

We just published a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) on the first-ever simultaneous lidar observations of iron (Fe) and sodium (Na) metal layers in the Antarctic thermosphere and ionosphere system. Read More

Equatorial winds ripple down to Antarctica

August 20, 2020

Researchers have uncovered a critical connection between winds at Earth's equator and atmospheric waves 6,000 miles away at the South Pole. The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded team has found, for the first time, evidence in Antarctica of a Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) -- an atmospheric circulation pattern that originates at the equator. Read More


Dr. Chu Honored with 2019 CEDAR Prize Lecture Award for Antarctic Research: Coupling from the Atmosphere to Geospace in Antarctica

June 20, 2019

Congratulations to Professor Xinzhao Chu for being selected to give the 2019 CEDAR Prize Lecture. Chu received the honor for her scientific contributions to understanding coupling from the stratosphere to the mesosphere and lower thermosphere resulting from Lidar development and observations at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Read More

Aerospace News on a Lidar Discovery in Antarctica

February 2019

New research by Xinzhao Chu, a professor of Smead Aerospace and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, and her team shows gravity waves above Antarctica exhibit seasonal patterns that peak in winter, which could help researchers trace the source of the mysterious phenomenon. Read More

Observations Show Gravity Waves Above Antarctica Dance in Winter

February 5, 2019

Year-round observations show gravity waves above Antarctica exhibit seasonal patterns that peak in winter, which could help researchers trace the source of this mysterious phenomenon. Read the full story at Earth & Space Science News by Terri Cook

News & Events in 2007

  • June 20, 2007 - Our Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) proposal for developing a mobile Fe/Rayleigh/Mie Doppler lidar has been just funded by NSF MRI program!

  • January 25, 2007 - A proposal "MRI: Development of a Mobile Fe-Resonance/Rayleigh/Mie Doppler Lidar" was submitted to NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program by Xinzhao Chu (PI) and Jeff Thayer (Co-PI)

  • February 8, 2007 - Xinzhao Chu was awarded a "CAREER" Award by NSF Aeronomy Program (Bob Kerr and Bob Robinson)

  • February 9, 2007 - Dr. Adrian McDonald from University of Canterbury, New Zealand visited and had discussion with Chihoko, Wentao, and then with our group in CIRES reading room

  • March 8, 2007 - Visiting day for perspective students to AES: Xinzhao gave a presentation for Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science (RSESS) focus area, and Fentzke hosted student session

  • March 12 and 14, 2007 - Dr. Sara Tucker from NOAA gave guest lectures on Coherent Detection Doppler Lidar at ASEN-6519. Lidar Remote Sensing class

  • March 13, 2007 - Chihoko was admitted to CU PhD program by AES and was offered RA-ship by Prof. Xinzhao Chu

  • March 14, 2007 - Xinzhao was nominated by CU to Packard Fellowship

  • March 16, 2007 - A proposal was submitted to CIRES Innovation Research Program (IRP) from our research group

  • March 21, 2007 - Dr. Carl Weimer from Ball Aerospace gave a guest lecture at lidar remote sensing class

  • March 22, 2007 - 2nd CU-NIST Research Symposium: our group presented a poster on "High-resolution Doppler-free polarization spectroscopy for novel Doppler lidars for environmental and atmospheric science"

  • March 27, 2007 - A tutorial talk on gravity waves was given by Dr. Sharon Vadas from CoRA at CIRES auditorium @ 3:30-5:30pm

  • April 4, 2007 - CIRES science symposium was held at Stadium. We presented two posters:
    1. High-Resolution Doppler-Free Polarization Spectroscopy for Novel Doppler Lidars for Environmental and Atmospheric Science, by Xinzhao Chu, Wentao Huang, and Johannes Wiig
    2. Polar Stratospheric Clouds at Rothera and South Pole: Lidar Observations and Polar Vortex Effects, by Wentao Huang, Xinzhao Chu, Shawn E. Simpson, Graeme J. Nott, and Patrick J. Espy
  • April 5, 2007 - A tutorial talk on "Fabry-Perot Interferometer Observations of Mesospheric and Thermospheric Neutral Wind" was given by Dr. Qian Wu from NCAR at Ekeley S274 @ 2-4pm

  • April 6, 2007 - A field trip to NOAA to visit MOPA and HRDL lidars with Dr. Sara Tucker

  • April 10, 2007 - Prof. Xinzhao Chu received NSF CAREER Award

  • April 10, 2007 - Xinzhao Chu, Wentao Huang, and Mike Hardesty are among the winners of CIRES IRP 2007 competition

  • April 11-12, 2007 - Our test showed that the "Na cell" actually contains potassium atoms: strong absorption at 770 nm

  • April 17, 2007 - A tutorial talk "Numerical modeling for middle and upper atmosphere research" was given by Dr. Hanli Liu of NCAR at Ekeley S274 from 3-5pm. About 18 people attended the seminar.

  • May 15, 2007 - Fentzke Comprehensive Exam

  • May 18, 2007 - Chihoko Master Thesis Defense @ 10am on Friday

  • May 22-25, 2007 - Spring AGU in Mexico

  • June 24-28, 2007 - CEDAR workshop in Santa Fe