Aoife Maria Ryan
Name: Aoife Maria Ryan
Title: PhD student
Address: Astronomy & Astrophysics Section, 31 Fitzwilliam Place Dublin 2, Ireland
Research Interests: The activity of the Sun, our closest star, has an immense impact on our daily lives. Violent solar storms can regularly be observed on Earth most notably as aurorae or disruptions to telecommunications and power grids. With so many modern advancements in technology being satellite dependent, the importance and necessity of solar physics research comes into focus. The fact that solar activity is often accompanied by bursts of radiation observable at radio frequencies gives us the opportunity to better understand these phenomena using instruments like LOFAR. LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) is a low-frequency radio interferometer which is comprised of thousands of antenna divided up into stations, extending over a baselines of ∼2000km across Europe. In 2017 Ireland became a member of the LOFAR consortium with the construction and installation of the Irish station, I-LOFAR in Birr Co.Offaly. I am among the first generation of researchers to operate I-LOFAR and develop radio-specific software that will be used by the solar community in Ireland.
Biographical Sketch: Aoife Maria Ryan completed her degree in Physics & Astrophysics from Trinity College Dublin in 2015. In 2017 she received a MSc in Space Science & Technology from University College Dublin. She undertook an internship jointly hosted by ESTEC (ESA; European Space Research and Technology Centre) and Leiden University studying the effects of Solar Wind on turbulence in Earth’s Magnetosphere. Aoife is a PhD researcher based in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies under the supervision of Prof. Peter T. Gallagher. She is developing a technique to optimise interferometric imaging of the Sun using LOFAR. Alongside her research, she is passionate about STEM Outreach and Science Communication and strives to provoke curiosity and interest for physics in the general public.
Aoife’s Ph.D. research is jointly funded by the Irish Research Council and AstroTec Holding B.V. as part of the Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme.