Physics and Astronomy
325 Strong Hall
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
My research involves trying to better understand the upper atmospheres of Earth and Mars through the use of a three-dimensional general circulation model, called GITM. This model solves the mass continuity, momentum, and energy equations in spherical coordinates, while accounting for the planet dependent source and loss terms that are important on global scales. GITM is a very sophisticated code that is also currently being applied at Jupiter, as well as at Saturn's moon Titan.
Currently, I am working on a project that utilizes the Mars GITM model to assist in the planning of the upcoming Maven mission to the red planet. In addition, I am focusing on the development and application the code. The ultimate goal of this project is to combine several models of the Martian atmosphere and space environment to be able to self-consistently simulate the state of the system from the ground all the way into the solar wind.
At Earth, I am primarily interested in the application of GITM for space weather prediction purposes. In particular, one goal is to evaluate the ability of GITM to predict future space weather up to 27 days (the period of one solar rotation) in advance, using observations of the primary drivers to the Earth's ionosphere-thermosphere system from the previous 27 days. Such a model would be extremely valuable to the space weather community for both scientific and operational reasons.
Associate Professor of physics with experience in teaching courses throughout the physics curriculum, space physics research, application design and development, and mentoring and managing. Scientifically, I study the sources of variability in the Earth and Mars upper atmosphere. My goal is to spend my professional time solving challenging problems using a computer.
Ph. D. Atmospheric and Space Physics (2005 - 2009)
Simulating the response of Earth's upper atmosphere to solar flares
Analysis of upper atmospheric data
Computational fluid dynamics
Data visualization design
M.S. Space Physics (2005 - 2007)
M.S. Physics (2003 - 2005)
B.S. Physics (1998 - 2002)
Instructor for several courses covering the physics curricula, including mechanics, sound, heat, electricity and magnetism, electrodynamics and astronomy.
Courses Developed: New intermediate level computational physics course which focuses on solving physics problems using python as well as other open source tools including Matplotlib, Linux, bash scripts, and Latex. Developed new introductory course in computing for physicists which focuses on Excel and Matlab. Started leading the senior project course in which students design, build, and launch high altitude weather balloons that sample the middle atmosphere.
Research: Development of a global 3D model of the Mars and Earth upper atmosphere. Recently awarded a NASA grant to study the effect of solar flares and dust storms on Mars' upper atmosphere. Investigating the effects of uncertainty in the space weather drivers on the Earth's upper atmosphere using ensemble based modeling.
Model development and data analysis for Earth and Mars upper atmospheric science.
Dong, C., et al., "Solar wind interaction with the Martian upper atmosphere: Crustal field orientation, solar cycle, and seasonal variations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 120, no. 9 (2015): 7857-7872.
Bougher, S. W., D. Pawlowski, J. M. Bell, S. Nelli, T. McDunn, J. R. Murphy, M. Chizek, and A. Ridley. "Mars Global Ionosphere‐Thermosphere Model: Solar cycle, seasonal, and diurnal variations of the Mars upper atmosphere." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 120, no. 2 (2015): 311-342.
Pawlowski, David J., and Aaron J. Ridley. "The effects of different solar flare characteristics on the global thermosphere." Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 73.13 (2011).
Pawlowski, David J., and Aaron J. Ridley. "Quantifying the effect of thermospheric parameterization in a global model." Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71.17 (2009).
Pawlowski, David J., and Aaron J. Ridley. "Modeling the ionospheric response to the 28 October 2003 solar flare due to coupling with the thermosphere." Radio Science 44.1 (2009).
Pawlowski, David J., and Aaron J. Ridley. "Modeling the thermospheric response to solar flares." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 113.A10 (2008).
Pawlowski, David J., et al. "Global model comparison with Millstone Hill during September 2005." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 113.A1 (2008).
Kim, I. S., et al. "Localized data assimilation in the ionosphere-thermosphere using a sampled-data unscented Kalman filter." Proc. Amer. Contr. Conf. 2008.
Languages: Python, Fortran95, C++, perl, IDL, MatLab, MPI, HTML, PHP, bash, tcsh
Version Control: CVS, SVN, git