Professor Graham Bailey

graham photo Address
Department of Applied Mathematics
The University of Sheffield
Sheffield S3 7RH


Research Activities

The Ionosphere and Plasmasphere

Since the late 1960s Professor Graham Bailey has been involved with the development of physics-based models of the Earth's ionosphere and plasmasphere. Using these models and observations from satellite-borne and ground-based instruments he has carried out many studies of the Earth's ionosphere and plasmasphere and their coupling with the Earth's neutral atmosphere. His studies have formed part of a major international effort to improve our knowledge of the mass, momentum, and energy coupling between the solar wind and the Earth. A detailed knowledge of the distribution of plasma within the ionosphere and plasmasphere is an essential element in our understanding of the Earth's environment. It is also an essential element for many modern-day technologies, for example, the behaviour of the ionosphere and plasmasphere can influence the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground-based technological systems and can endanger human life or health. Adverse conditions in the space environment can cause disruption to satellite operations, communications, navigation, and electric power distribution grids, leading to a broad range of socio-economic losses. In recent years, Professor Graham Bailey has been involved in modelling studies of the propagation effects arising from the ionosphere and plasmasphere and their effect on the accuracy of observations from GPS. More recently, he has carried out modelling studies of propagation effects along satellite-to-satellite raypaths.

Space Weather is the term used by scientists to describe the everchanging conditions in space. Considerable effort will be made during the coming years to develop a comprehensive research model that will mimic space weather from explosions on the Sun to geomagnetic storms on Earth. This new technology will help scientists to better understand solar-terrestrial activity and eventually to predict when and how it will affect activities on Earth. Expectations are to produce space weather forecasts similar to today's daily weather forecasts by the end of this decade.

The principal model used by Professor Graham Bailey is SUPIM (Sheffield University Plasmasphere Ionosphere Model). The current version of SUPIM has resulted from over twenty years of development by Professor Graham Bailey and coworkers. The model is one of the world's leading models for studies of the Earth's ionosphere-plasmasphere system. SUPIM is under continual development.

Observations from satellite-borne and ground-based instruments have been studied using values modelled by SUPIM, see publications and research overview. There has been considerable collaboration. These include the University of Texas at Dallas (USA), Arecibo Radar Observatory (Puerto Rico), INPE (Brazil), Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (Japan), Kyoto University (Japan), University of Newcastle (Australia), and the University of Wales at Aberystwyth (UK).

An introduction to the Sun-Earth environment and an overview of selected research topics carried out by Professor Graham Bailey are presented in research overview. Further information on Space Weather can be obtained from webpages provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the Space Environment Center, and the Space Weather Center.

Research Group

In the mid-1980's the Upper Atmosphere Modelling Group (UAMG), a research group within the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, was founded by Professors Roy Moffett and Graham Bailey in order to facilitate the expansion of their research of the Earth's upper atmosphere and to obtain major research grants. The group established a distinctive and world-leading role for its research of the Earth's ionosphere, plasmasphere, and thermosphere using mathematical models and observations from satellite-borne and ground-based instruments. Professor Moffett became the Group's first Head and Professor Bailey became Head in 1996. During the years of Professor Bailey's leadership there was considerable increase in the academic staff members of the group, PDRAs and PhD students. As the research activities of the new academic staff members were in the areas of Solar and Space Plasmas the Group's name was changed to the Solar Physics and upper Atmosphere Research Group (SPARG). Professor Graham Bailey retired from the University of Sheffield in January 2002, but continued to be Head of the Group until October 2003. Professor Robert von Fáy-Siebenbürgen became the new Head. Professor Roy Moffett retired in September 2002. In October 2006 SPARG became the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre with Professor Robert von Fáy-Siebenbürgen its first Director.

With the retirements of Professors Graham Bailey and Roy Moffett four decades of research in the field of Solar Terrestrial Physics came to an end as a research activity in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield.

Related web pages:
Research Overview
Sun-Earth Environment
Coronal Mass Ejections
The Aurora
The Ionosphere
The Topside Ionosphere
The Plasmasphere

Satellite Navigation

Every effort is made to keep the information on these pages accurate, but this is not a guarantee that it is correct. Pages last modified on 19 October 2010. These pages created and maintained by Professor Graham Bailey.

Copyright 2005 The Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Sheffield, UK.

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