Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Climate & Space Students Win AGU Outstanding Paper Award

Posted: March 24, 2017

Climate & Space Students Win AGU Outstanding Paper Award

Two Climate & Space students, Alexander Hegedus and Peiyun Zhu, recently received AGU Outstanding Paper Awards for their submissions at the 2016 annual American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting this past December in San Francisco.

The Outstanding Student Paper Awards (OSPAs) are awarded to promote, recognize and reward undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D students for quality research in the geophysical sciences. Each year, sections and focus groups recruit judges to assess and score student oral and poster presentations at meetings. According to the AGU, “…typically [just] the top 3-5% of presenters in each section/focus group are awarded an OSPA.”

Alex Hegedus:

Title: “Simulating 3D Spacecraft Constellations for Low Frequency Radio Imaging”

Abstract: Constellations of small spacecraft could be used to realize a low-frequency phased array for either heliophysics or astrophysics observations.  However, there are issues that arise with an orbiting array that do not occur on the ground, thus rendering much of the existing radio astronomy software inadequate for data analysis and simulation.  In this work we address these issues and consider the performance of two constellation concepts.  One is Relic, a 32-spacecraft constellation for astrophysical observations, whose goal would be to observe Double Radio-source Associated with a Galactic Nucleus sources (DRAGNs) at low frequencies impossible to see on Earth due to Ionospheric cutoff.  The other is SunRISE, a 6 spacecraft array whose science goal would be to clarify the basic physics of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) by localizing radio emission on CMEs to within ¼ of their width.

Peiyun Zhu:

Title: “The Influence of Ice-Ocean Interactions on Europa’s Overturning Circulation”

Abstract: The research topic for my AGU talk is ice-ocean interaction on Europa. Europa is one of Jupiter’s moons that likely hosts a saltwater ocean beneath its icy surface. By building an idealized numerical model, we demonstrate that a freshwater layer can form at the ice-ocean interface due to a meridional ice transport forced by the differential ice shell heating between the equator and the poles. For a weakly turbulent and highly saline ocean, a strong buoyancy gradient at the base of the freshwater layer can substantially suppress the exchange with the deeper ocean of heat, salt and other tracers. I did this project through Caltech's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program in 2016, under the mentoring of Prof. Andrew Thompson from Caltech and Dr. Steve Vance from JPL.

Congratulations, Alex and Peiyun!