MICHAEL C. KELLEY
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
318 Rhodes Hall
B.S. 1964 (Kent State); Ph.D. 1970 (California at Berkeley)
After receiving the doctoral degree, Kelley was a postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley, held a joint appointment as a Von Humboldt fellow with Gerhard Haerendel at the Max Planck Institute in Garching, Germany, and then came to Cornell in 1975. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and in 1979 he won that society's James B. Macelwane Award. Kelley has been a member of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Solar and Space Plasmas; the Management Working Group on Solar Space Plasmas of the Office of Space Science, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee on the Atmosphereic Research Program. In 1981 he won the Tau Beta Pi-Cornell Society of Engineers award as the outstanding teacher in the Cornell College of Engineering. Currently, Kelley is chair of the NSF Global Change Program's Upper Atmosphere Component, CEDAR, and is the special advisor for atmospheric science at the Arecibo Observatory. He was also elected James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering, effective February, 2001.
A variety of research methods can be used to probe the upper atmosphere and the near-space regions of the earth. The techniques most suitable for graduate-student involvement are sounding-rocket measurements, ground-based radars, and lidars. Cornell has a long history of involvement in the latter, since the radar-lidar observatory at Arecibo was conceived here and continues to be operated by Cornell. Roughly one-half of my research effort involves using such observatories-there are six now operating at various sites around the world-to measure wind and wave patterns from thirty to several hundred kilometers above the surface of the earth. The rest of my research involves the use of satellites and rockets to carry Cornell instrumentation directly into the space environment. The measurements are interpreted in terms of the physics of the atmosphere and ionosphere and both global and localized features of the earth's electric field. Rockets can also be used efficiently to study in detail specific atmospheric phenomena such as thunder storms and the aurora. One of my goals was to merge my knowledge of rockets with the expertise of the Cornell radar community and mount an intensive study of the equatorial upper atmosphere. This goal was realized in March, 1983 when I led a National Aeronautics and Space Administration rocket campaign called "Condor" that launched twenty-nine sounding rockets off the coast of Peru. Cornell personnel manned the Jicamarca radar facility, which is located just east of Lima, in this highly successful international project. Similar projects were carried out in Greenland in 1985 and 1987, in the South Pacific in 1990, and in Puerto Rico in 1992. Another project of this type is scheduled for February, 1998.
November 6, 1997
Last Updated: February 27, 2001