Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (RSSS) is a broad discipline examining the interaction of electromagnetic fields with material media, with a concentration on applications to the space sciences. It encompasses research areas such as aeronomy, geosciences, atmospheric science, remote sensing, wave propagation, electro-optics, plasma science, signal processing, and communications. Researchers use radar, lidar, and passive optical techniques to probe the Earth's upper atmosphere to learn its physical, chemical, and dynamic processes. Wave propagation studies are performed with MF (medium frequency) radar, meteor radar, the global positioning system (GPS) and incoherent backscatter radar.

Researchers carry out a wide range of theoretical and experimental programs in lidar systems, laser ranging and altimetry, optical communications, geophysical imaging, and signal and image processing. Two advanced lidar systems use atmospheric sodium and iron as scattering media from metals deposited by meteors in the upper atmosphere. Optical imaging, spectroscopy, and interferometry are employed to passively observe atmospheric emission and scattering processes. Researchers develop new instrumentation and techniques to analyze data from NASA satellite and aircraft missions. Field campaigns are conducted from a number of ground stations, such as Antarctica, Greenland, Australia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Morocco, Puerto Rico, and a variety of US sites.

Recent News

ECE ILLINOIS offers first Big Data class for undergrads


ECE Illinois has a story about the new Big Data class being offered by, among others, Prof. Makela and Prof. Kamalabadi.  The full story can be found here.

Near-space study helping to predict storms


Prof. Makela's research on tsunami monitoring using the ionosphere as a sensor is summarized in this College of Engineering article.

Students design device that will feel the heat


Students in ECE Illinois' Senior Design Laboratory course, taught by Prof. Makela have developed a new sensor useful for protecting firefighters from extreme heat.  The full story can be found here.

New research site for African skies


Prof. Makela's research group recently installed new instrumentation at the Oukaïmeden Observatory in Morocco.  The full story from ECE Illinois can be found here.

University students "spoof" to increase security of power grid, other applications


The research RSSS graduate student, Thomas Gehrels, is conducting on mitigating GPS spoofing threats is summarized in this article by the Daily Illini.