mugshot

Paul Withers, PhD

Ph.D. in Planetary Science, 2003, University of Arizona
M.A., 2001, Queens' College, Cambridge University
M.S. in Physics, 1998, Queens' College, Cambridge University
B.A. in Physics, 1998, Queens' College, Cambridge University



Contact:

Astronomy Department
Boston University
725 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
USA

Office: CAS 604
Phone: +1 617 353 1531
Fax: +1 617 353 6463
Email: withers@bu.edu

Research Interests:
My main area of research is the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of planets. I analyze data and develop theoretical models to discover how solar flux, a neutral atmosphere, magnetic fields, and an ionosphere interact under the unique conditions of each planet. I am also actively involved in suppporting the operations of accelerometer and radio science instruments. I have a range of potential projects available in these areas for interested undergraduate and graduate students.

I defended my PhD dissertation in March 2003. The dissertation is available online, as are a full CV and a 3 page CV.

Resources:
blueballLink to publicly-available Mars Express SPICAM data.
blueballPublicly-available software for analyzing accelerometer data from the atmospheric entries of spacecraft.
blueball Atmospheric profiles (density, pressure, temperature) derived from accelerometer measurements during the atmospheric entries of Spirit and Opportunity.
Results and software from Withers and Smith (2006).
Data products and documentation as delivered to the PDS (January 2008).
blueballRapid data products from the ODY ACC experiment generated in support of MRO aerobraking (January 2006).
blueballPreliminary data products from the ODY ACC experiment (December 2007).
blueballUpdated data products from the ODY ACC experiment. As delivered to the PDS (December 2008).
blueballList of summer research opportunities for undergraduates.

Students Mentored:

Graduate students
orangeball Katy Fallows, Boston University Astronomy PhD student (2011 - present).
Investigating the morphology of the lower ionosphere of Mars

orangeball Zachary Girazian, Boston University Astronomy PhD student (2010 - present).
Investigating unusual features in the ionosphere of Mars

orangeball Majd Matta, Boston University Astronomy PhD student (2007 - present).
Modelling the effects of magnetic fields on the martian ionosphere - Jointly supervised with Professor Michael Mendillo

Undergraduate students
orangeball Gabriel Gonzalez, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2012 - present).
Study of the effects of solar flares on the ionosphere of Mars

orangeball Andrew Tarrh, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2012 - present).
Analysis of Venus Express ionospheric observations

orangeball Sarah Weiner, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2012 - present).
Analysis of Mariner 9 ionospheric observations

orangeball Nicholas Ferreri, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2011 - 2012).
Recovery of Mariner 9 ionospheric observations

orangeball Dane Sarcone, Boston University ECE undergraduate research assistant (2009).
The effects of extreme solar flares on technological systems at Mars

orangeball Jeffrey Russo, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2008 - present).
Comparison of SPICAM and aerobraking accelerometer measurements of the martian upper atmosphere

orangeball Robert Pratt, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2008 - 2011).
The effects of thermal tides on SPICAM measurements of the martian atmosphere

orangeball Anthony Lollo, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2008 - 2010).
Numerical simulations of the martian ionosphere - Jointly supervised with Professor Michael Mendillo

orangeball Bob Lombardi, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2006 - 2007).
Comparative modelling of planetary ionospheres - Jointly supervised with Professor Michael Mendillo

Others
orangeball Robert Pratt, Boston University Astronomy undergraduate research assistant (2011 - 2012).
Empirical characterization of the aerobraking environment at Mars

orangeball Anthony Lollo, Boston University Center for Space Physics staff researcher (2010 - 2011).
Numerical simulations of the martian ionosphere and empirical characterization of the aerobraking environment at Mars

Teaching Experience:
redball AS101 - Introduction to the Solar System - Boston University
Spring 2013, 44 students, teaching materials, student evaluations
Fall 2010, 43 students, teaching materials, student evaluations
Summer 2006, 19 students, teaching materials, student evaluations
redball AS202 - Principles of Astronomy I - Boston University
Fall 2011, 21 students, teaching materials, student evaluations
redball AS781 - Planetary Atmospheres - Boston University
Fall 2012, 21 students, teaching materials, student evaluations not yet available
redball AS802 - Graduate research and scholarship - Boston University
Spring 2011, 14 students, teaching materials, student evaluations
redball AS803 - Research methods in astronomical data analysis - Boston University
Spring 2011, 15 students, teaching materials, student evaluations

Recent Papers:
blueball Withers, Fillingim, Lillis, Haeusler, Hinson, Tyler, Paetzold, Peter, Tellmann, and Witasse (2012) Observations of the nightside ionosphere of Mars by the Mars Express Radio Science Experiment MaRS, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, A12307, doi:10.1029/2012JA018185
531K PDF

blueball Withers, Fallows, Girazian, Matta, Haeusler, Hinson, Tyler, Morgan, Paetzold, Peter, Tellmann, Peralta, and Witasse (2012) A clear view of the multifaceted dayside ionosphere of Mars, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L18202, doi:10.1029/2012GL053193
284K PDF

blueball Withers (2012) Empirical predictions of martian surface pressure in support of the landing of Mars Science Laboratory, Space Science Reviews, 170, 837-860
1.1M PDF

blueball Vasavada, Chen, Barnes, Burkhart, Cantor, Dwyer-Cianciolo, Fergason, Hinson, Justh, Kass, Lewis, Mischna, Murphy, Rafkin, Tyler, and Withers (2012) Assessment of environments for Mars Science Laboratory entry, descent, and surface operations, Space Science Reviews, 170, 793-835
8.8M PDF

blueball Lollo, Withers, Fallows, Girazian, Matta, and Chamberlin (2012) Numerical simulations of the ionosphere of Mars during a solar flare, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, A05314, doi:10.1029/2011JA017399
845K PDF

blueball Sheel, Haider, Withers, Kozarev, Jun, Kang, Gronoff, and Simon Wedlund (2012) Numerical simulation of the effects of a solar energetic particle event on the ionosphere of Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, A05312, doi:10.1029/2011JA017455
854K PDF

blueball Withers (2012) How do meteoroids affect Venus's and Mars's ionospheres?, Eos, 93(35), 337-338, doi: 10.1029/2012EO350002
718K PDF

blueball Mendillo, Lollo, Withers, Matta, Paetzold, and Tellmann (2011) Modeling Mars' ionosphere with constraints from same-day observations by Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Express, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, A11303, doi:10.1029/2011JA016865
2.5M PDF

blueball Xiong, Wan, Liu, Withers, Zhao, Ning, Wei, Le, Ren, Chen, He, and Liu (2011) Ionospheric response to the X-class solar flare on 7 September 2005, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, A11317, doi:10.1029/2011JA016961
1.7M PDF

blueball Withers, Pratt, Bertaux, and Montmessin (2011) Observations of thermal tides in the middle atmosphere of Mars by the SPICAM instrument, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, E11005, doi:10.1029/2011JE003847
1.9M PDF

blueball Withers (2011) Attenuation of radio signals by the ionosphere of Mars: Theoretical development and application to MARSIS observations, Radio Science, 46, RS2004, doi:10:1029/2010RS004450
725K PDF

purpleball Have a look at some more of my papers, projects, presentations, proposals, and piffle.


Last Modified: 2012.12.20
http://www.buimaging.com/withers/index.html