Exploring the Edge of Space
The Earth's middle and upper atmosphere extends from the tropopause near 10 km altitude, to altitudes as high as 1000 km. This atmospheric region is important for understanding spacecraft operational conditions in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), spacecraft reentry, as well as terrestrial and satellite radio communications. The middle and upper atmosphere also form an important part of the Sun-Earth connection and the Earth System, shielding us from solar UV radiation, reflecting the effects of global climate change, and forming part of the general circulation of the atmosphere as a whole.
地球的中層、高層大氣從 10 公里高度的對流層頂延伸到 1000 公里高度的外氣圈。本大氣區域構成低軌道（LEO）人造衛星的作業環境，並直接影響衛星再入大氣層以及地面、衛星遠距離無線通訊。中層、高層大氣也形成我們對太陽紫外線的保護層、反應氣候變遷、並構成大氣環流的一節，形成地球系統重要的一環。
Our laboratory works to understand the physics controlling the structure and variability of the middle and upper atmosphere using both satellite and ground-based instruments, as well as computer models of the atmosphere. We are also working to develop small satellite missions that will help to observe this region, while also providing nessecary operations and data analysis support. We operate a Spacecraft Prototype Lab for development, integration, and testing of small satellites, as well as a Mission Operations Center that is used for flight control and communications with our spacecraft.