Team

David G. Sibeck:
(Principal Investigator)

David Sibeck is a magnetospheric physicist with strong interests in fundamental plasma physics phenomena like reconnection and particle energization.  With the help of the other team members, he has criss-crossed four continents to make the science case for the STORM mission.


Michael R. Collier:
(Deputy Principal Investigator)

Michael R. Collier is currently a civil servant scientist at NASA/GSFC and the Associate Lab Chief of the Geospace Laboratory in the Heliophysics Science Division. He has fabricated, calibrated, commanded and analyzed data from many flight hardware projects over more than 33 years in the field. He is a Co-investigator on many missions including Solar Orbiter and SMILE. He has launched eight instruments into space as hardware Principal Investigator, five low energy neutral atom imagers, two soft X-ray imagers, and an electron spectrometer. He has broad research interests covering solar wind, heliospheric, terrestrial magnetospheric and outer planets physics. Particular research topics include soft X-ray emission from solar wind charge exchange, solar wind particles and fields, the study of low-energy neutral atoms, lunar and outer planets particles, fields, and exosphere studies including lunar and airless body surface potentials and Jovian magnetometer data analysis.


Robert Allen is an experimental space physicist with a focus on both solar wind-magnetosphere coupling and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. He has previously investigated the penetration of high-charge-state solar wind plasma into the magnetosphere of Earth. He looks forward to aiding the estimation of STORM’s soft x-ray measurements in and around the magnetosphere by continuing investigations into high-charge-state solar wind present in the magnetosphere and cusps.


Homayon Aryan is a space scientist that focuses on high energy particles in the Earth’s radiation belts and the inner magnetosphere. He studies very low frequency waves including chorus and plasmaspheric hiss waves in the inner magnetosphere. His research is focused on wave distribution, wave-particle interactions, and radiation belt dynamics. He also studies magnetospheric and ionospheric current systems.


Graziella Branduardi-Raymont specializes in multi-wavelength astrophysics (analysis, modelling and interpretation of astrophysical data from space and ground observatories). Scientific team member for major X-ray astronomy space missions (Copernicus, Ariel V, Einstein Observatory, EXOSAT, ROSAT, XMM-Newton). Co-Investigator for the Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS) flying onboard ESA’s XMM-Newton Observatory. Co-Principal Investigator of SMILE (Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer), a joint ESA-Chinese Academy of Sciences mission under development (launch 2023) dedicated to X-ray imaging of the Earth’s dayside magnetosphere, to UV imaging of the Northern aurora and in situ probing of geospace.


Natalia Buzulukova is a space physicist specializing in modeling the near-space Earth plasma environment for space weather applications. Her scientific interests include understanding global magnetospheric dynamics and the interrelationships between the different plasma components in the Earth’s magnetosphere. She is experienced in working with magnetohydrodynamic models of the Earth’s magnetosphere, kinetic Particle-In-Cell codes of the geomagnetic tail, bounce-averaged models of the Earth’s ring current, and models of the Earth’s plasmasphere. She has extensive experience in analyzing and simulating ENA data from IMAGE and TWINS missions, and will apply her knowledge and skills for the STORM mission.


Jenny Carter specializes in the study of large-scale solar wind-magnetosphere-ionospheric coupling. Her research interests include the relationship between field-aligned acceleration and various auroral emission features observed in the ionosphere, and phenomena such as transpolar auroral arcs. Jenny’s original background was in X-ray astronomy and did her PhD on exospheric charge exchange X-rays using data from XMM-Newton. Such data has helped establish the feasibility for magnetospheric imaging missions such as STORM.


Yari Collado-Vega is a space scientist that focuses on solar wind-magnetosphere interaction instabilities, transient events, and dayside-magnetopause dynamics.  She is the Director of the Moon to Mars Space Weather Analysis Office, an office established to support the Space Radiation Analysis Group from JSC with the human space exploration activities.  She will help to identify and analyze significant real time space weather events important for the mission.  She will also serve as a liaison for the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) and conduct education and public outreach for the mission in both English and Spanish.


Hyunju Connor is a space scientist that focuses on the modeling of solar wind interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere – ionosphere – thermosphere (MIT) system. Her research interest includes magnetic reconnection, particle acceleration near the magnetopause, and MIT coupling processes. In the STORM team, she models soft X-ray images expected from a potential satellite and develops the image processing techniques to investigate the STORM’s science questions.


Martin Conners brings expertise with ASI site selection and facilitates access to ground-based observatories in Eastern Canada. From a background in theoretical astrophysics, Connors started working in computing related to space physics in the early 1980s, later getting a Ph.D. in this field. His early work on magnetometer networks has led most recently to the AUTUMNX network in Qu.bec, filling a major gap in coverage. Athabasca-based auroral optical networks have major international partners for novel work on subauroral phenomena. Connors’ fluency in French allows effective operation in Qu.bec and a space weather partnership with the Hydro-Qu.bec grid operator. His most recent work emphasizes geoelectric effects due to space weather, using direct measurements.


Tom Cravens is a space physicist who is interested in how the solar wind interacts with the planets and comets.  He has worked on the plasma environments and upper atmospheres of most solar system bodies, including the Earth’s.  He has also worked on x-ray emission mechanisms for solar system objects and he plans to further investigate how the solar wind charge exchange emission mechanism operates near the Earth.


Gina DiBraccio is a space scientist, specializing in solar wind-planetary interactions. Her research explores fundamental plasma physics processes, such as magnetic reconnection and current sheet dynamics, in both intrinsic and induced magnetospheres. She has explored magnetospheric dynamics throughout the solar system by analyzing in situ data at Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Gina is the MAVEN Project Scientist and supports various missions as part of the NASA GSFC Magnetometer group.


Mei-Ching Fok is a magnetospheric physicist interested in solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. She has developed computer models to predict the intensities of ring current and radiation belt particles. Dr. Fok has extensive experiences on energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging of the ring current. She is responsible to simulate ENA emissions that STORM would see.


Harald Frey is an experimental space physicist studying aurora, airglow, and lightning phenomena with optical instruments in the ultraviolet and visible wavelength range. He worked on IMAGE, ISUAL, and THEMIS. He is now the instrument scientist for the ICON-FUV instrument that was launched in October 2019.


Dennis Gallagher specializes in the inner magnetosphere dynamics and image processing. He has worked in a variety of areas including the study of Auroral Kilometric Radiation, Doppler shifted short wavelength ion acoustic waves in the magnetosheath, terrestrial micropulsations, wave-packet bursts upstream of the Jovian bow shock, and dust impacts during transit of the Saturnian ring plane. He has emphasized studying the effects of heavy ions on wave-particle plasma processes, the outflow and transport of ionospheric ions, and with the empirical modeling of magnetospheric core plasma.


Jerry Goldstein specializes in the dynamics of the inner magnetospheres using EUV and ENA global imaging observations from missions such as IMAGE and TWINS, complemented by theory and simulation. 


Kunihiro Keika is a magnetospheric physicist who focuses on the escape of planetary ions from the ionosphere and the dynamics of those ions in the magnetosphere. He is particularly interested in how planet- or moon-origin plasma are transported/heated/accelerated in planetary magnetospheres, how those ions affect the magnetospheric system, and how they respond to solar wind variations such as CMEs. He has worked on data analysis of ENA imaging by IMAGE and in-situ observations by THEMIS, Cluster, Van Allen Probes, MMS, and Arase. 


Kip Kuntz is an X-ray astronomer specializing in the diffuse X-ray background. His research program to measure the strength of the Galactic halo and to isolate the emission due to the warm-hot intergalactic medium was indefinitely derailed by the discovery of solar-wind charge exchange from both the magnetosheath and the heliosphere. He now serves as an interface between heliophysics and astrophysics, simulating the optics and what they will see.


Anthony Tat Yin Lui has engaged in data analysis of space data since his graduation in 1971 with the first journal publication in 1973. His main scientific effort focuses on data analysis of multipoint measurements of space disturbances in space as well as on the ground, with additional theoretical investigation in kinetic treatment of space plasma and in proposing the plasma instability that may be the key physical process for magnetospheric substorm onset.


Yoshi Miyoshi is a magnetospheric physicist interested in solar wind-magnetosphere coupling, the inner magnetosphere, especially for the ring current and  radiation belts, and the wave-particle interactions. He has worked on the Arase (ERG) mission as the project scientist, and Bepi-Colombo Mercury mission and JUICE Jupiter missions.


Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on Space Weather and the interaction of the sun and solar wind with the earth’s magnetosphere and the resulting dynamics, including geomagnetic storms and auroral substorms. His research aims at understanding the physical processes controlling the dynamics of the magnetosphere and ionosphere during both geomagnetic storms and auroral substorms.


Steve Petrinec is a space scientist with particular interest in solar wind-planetary magnetosphere interactions. Research topics include understanding the shape and size of magnetospheric boundaries, including the location and stability of dayside magnetopause reconnection, and energetic neutral atom imaging of magnetospheric regions. He also uses geophysical modeling in conjunction with predict ephemeris data to support operations planning for the MMS mission and for the upcoming TRACERS mission


Scott Porter is an astrophysicist with strong interests in the x-ray background, charge exchange emission, laboratory astrophysics, and instrumentation. Dr. Porter has over 30 years of experience in x-ray instrumentation for spaceflight. He has been instrument scientist on three orbiting observatories, eight sounding rocket flights, and is the PI of an extensive laboratory astrophysics program. Dr. Porter has published over 300 peer reviewed articles on the soft x-ray background, interplanetary charge-exchange, x-ray observations of supernova remnants and clusters of galaxies, atomic physics, and laboratory astrophysics.


Michael Purucker is a space scientist whose interests focus on magnetic fields as fingerprints of processes in planetary lithospheres and magnetospheres. He the laboratory chief of the Planetary Magnetospheres Laboratory within GSFC’s Solar System Division. He has worked on in-situ and remotely sensed magnetic field observations from the Earth, Mars, Mercury and the Moon. In his work for NASA, he has been involved in planetary, and terrestrial orbital and suborbital missions that focus on mapping the magnetic field, and complementary properties. He produced the first global magnetic model of the Moon and Mars, and was one of the leaders in the World Digital Magnetic Anomaly map of the Earth.


Andy Read is an X-ray astrophysicist, having worked on ROSAT, XMM-Newton, Swift and Astrosat, with strong interests in instrument calibration, the X-ray background, charge exchange and transient phenomena. He is a current member of the SMILE team, and has created sophisticated simulations to inform the mission planning and the SXI instrument design, and he leads the SMILE SXI science analysis system.


Andrey Samsonov is a scientist at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London. His scientific interests include the solar wind – magnetosphere interaction, magnetosheath and magnetopause, interplanetary shocks, and MHD modelling. He has compared MHD and empirical models to predict the magnetopause position for variable solar wind conditions. He applies his knowledge and expertise in this area in preparation for the forthcoming SMILE mission. The methods of analysis developed for the SMILE Soft X-ray Imager can be also used for STORM.


Steven Sembay specializes in the design and calibration of instrumentation for the detection of soft X-rays. He is the principle investigator of the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) on ESA’s XMM-Newton and the PI of the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) on the forthcoming ESA-CAS SMILE mission. An X-ray astronomer by training, Steve has become intrigued by the challenge of using global imaging in soft X-rays to study the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth.


Nick Thomas is an experimental astrophysics currently investigating the image quality of slumped micropore (Lobster-eye) optics that the STORM instrument utilizes to focus X-rays onto its detector plane. Nick collaborated in the development and deployment of the sounding rocket versions of STORM and CuPID. He also works on the DXL X-ray telescope which is currently being readied for its third sounding rocket flight. In his spare time Nick enjoys hiking and running.


Philip Valek (SwRI) is a magnetospheric physicist who has been part of teams that measure particle distributions from a range of space plasmas. Missions that he has worked on include IMAGE, TWINS, New Horizons, Rosetta, MMS, and Juno.


Brian Walsh is an experimental space physicist with scientific focus on solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. He’s the principle investigator of the CuPID Cubesat Observatory, a spacecraft carrying a small soft X-ray imager designed for launch into low Earth orbit in 2019.


Simon wing is a space physicist with interests in magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, solar wind entry into the magnetosphere, plasma transport in the magnetotail, open-field line particle precipitation (cusp, mantle, and polar rain), auroral particle precipitation, and space weather.