FORMER STUDENTSRon Vervack, 1997 (PTYS)
Bill SandelSenior Research Scientist
Space plasmas, planetary atmospheres
Ph.D., 1972, Rice University
Years with LPL: 1978 to present
RESEARCH INTERESTSDr. Sandel’s interests include the atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites, and Earth’s plasmasphere. He has developed an extreme ultraviolet imager for the IMAGE Mission, an element of NASA’s Medium-Class Explorer Program. This instrument tracks changes in the distribution of singly-ionized helium in Earth's plasmasphere by imaging 30.4-nm sunlight that has been scattered by the helium ions. The goal is better understanding of the response of the plasmasphere to external forcing, and of supply and loss of material by filling from Earth’s atmosphere and erosion during magnetic storms.
As a co-investigator of the ESA’s Mars Express SPICAM investigation, Sandel uses emission and occultation spectrography to study Mars' atmosphere. To characterize the outer heliosphere and its interaction with the interstellar medium, Sandel analyzes Voyager UVS measurements of the sky background H Lyman alpha emissions.
FORMER SPACECRAFT INVOLVEMENTVoyager, UVS
Deep Space 1, MICAS
Mars Express, SPICAM
Mars Express, ASPERA
Venus Express, SPICAV
Venus Express, ASPERA