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Dr Simon Walker

Name: Simon Walker

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

E-Mail: walker@dias.cp.ie

Address: School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS Dunsink Observatory, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin 15, Ireland.

Biographical Sketch:

Simon completed his MPhys in Physics with Planetary and Space Physics at Aberystwyth University. He pursued his PhD in the Department of Physics and Technology at the University of Bergen, focusing on developing novel inversion techniques for mapping auroral ionospheric currents using magnetometer measurements. This research provides a 20-year dataset, including interpolated ground magnetic field perturbations, electrojet currents, and boundaries. Analyses of this dataset revealed hotspots in local time and latitude where strong Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs) are likely. Additionally, electrojet boundaries were identified as potential predictors for the auroral oval’s location Which is crucial for understanding Solar Wind-Magnetosphere coupling and space weather hazards.

Simon has extensive experience with a wide variety of instruments for studying the auroral ionosphere, including incoherent scatter radars, satellite and ground-based auroral imagery, satellite-based energetic particle measurements, and ground and space-based magnetometers. His work with the latter enabled the first comprehensive study of the full ionospheric leg of the substorm current wedge. During his time with the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), Simon will remain involved with NASA’s Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer (EZIE) mission. EZIE employs an innovative technique to remotely measure the magnetic field at 80 km altitude, achieving mapping of the electrojet current at unprecedented spatial resolution. Working with Prof Caitriona Jackman’s research group, Simon will continue to focus on advancing our understanding of the interaction of the Earth’s ionosphere and magnetosphere with the solar wind and apply this knowledge to other planetary bodies in our solar system.

Research Interests:

Ionospheric substorms and their link with auroral kilometric radiation

Solar Wind – Magnetosphere – Ionosphere Coupling at Earth

Development of novel techniques for magnetometer data analysis for mapping the ionospheric currents

Imaging the auroral ionosphere

Affiliation: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, DIAS, Dublin