Bio


Prof. Close's research involves space weather detection and modeling for improved spacecraft designs, and advanced signal processing and electromagnetic wave interactions with plasma for ground-to-satellite communication systems. These topics fall under the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) umbrella that include environmental remote sensing using satellite systems and ground-based radar. Her current efforts are the MEDUSSA (Meteoroid, Energetics, and Debris Understanding for Space Situational Awareness) program, which uses dust accelerators to understand the effects of hypervelocity particle impacts on spacecraft along with Particle-In-Cell simulations, and using ground-based radars to characterize the space debris and meteoroid population remotely. She also has active programs in hypersonic plasmas and plasma propulsion techniques for interplanetary travel. Her research through the EE department focuses on understanding the interaction of lightning with the ionosphere.

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • Outstanding Professor in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University (2013)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), White House (2012)
  • DoE CAREER Award, DoE (2013-2017)
  • NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (2011-2016)
  • Joe D. Marshall Award for Outstanding Technical Briefing, AFTAC (2013)
  • Hellman Faculty Scholar, Hellman Fellows Program (2010)
  • 1st Place Student Paper Competition, International Union of Radio Science (2002)
  • Magazine Cover, IEEE Spectrum (2008)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Elected Vice Chair Commission G, URSI (2013 - Present)
  • Member, Arecibo Science Advisory Panel (2011 - 2013)
  • Member, National Research Council Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Panel (2013 - Present)
  • Co-Host National Geographic Channel, Known Universe (2011 - 2011)
  • Member, Meteoroids Scientific Organizing Committee (2010 - 2010)
  • Member, National Research Council Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Review of Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies Mitigation Panel (2013 - Present)

Journal Articles


  • Plasma turbulence of nonspecular trail plasmas as measured by a high-power large-aperture radar JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES Yee, J., Close, S. 2013; 118 (24): 13449-13462
  • First Preliminary Results from US Round-Robin Tests IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE Vayner, B. V., Ferguson, D. C., Hoffmann, R. C., Wheelock, A. T., Likar, J. J., Prebola, J. L., Crider, D. H., Schneider, T. A., Vaughn, J. A., Hoang, B., Steele, K., Close, S., Goel, A., Crofton, M. W., Young, J. A., Bodeau, J. M. 2013; 41 (12): 3310-3322
  • Impact-Induced ESD and EMI/EMP Effects on Spacecraft-A Review IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE Garrett, H. B., Close, S. 2013; 41 (12): 3545-3557
  • Detection of electromagnetic pulses produced by hypervelocity micro particle impact plasmas PHYSICS OF PLASMAS Close, S., Linscott, I., Lee, N., Johnson, T., Strauss, D., Goel, A., Fletcher, A., Lauben, D., Srama, R., Mocker, A., Bugiel, S. 2013; 20 (9)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4819777

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325399400004

  • Curved pleat folding for smooth wrapping PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A-MATHEMATICAL PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES Lee, N., Close, S. 2013; 469 (2155)
  • The Meteoroid Input Function and predictions of mid-latitude meteor observations by the MU radar ICARUS Pifko, S., Janches, D., Close, S., Sparks, J., Nakamura, T., Nesvorny, D. 2013; 223 (1): 444-459
  • Theory and experiments characterizing hypervelocity impact plasmas on biased spacecraft materials PHYSICS OF PLASMAS Lee, N., Close, S., Goel, A., Lauben, D., Linscott, I., Johnson, T., Strauss, D., Bugiel, S., Mocker, A., Srama, R. 2013; 20 (3)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4794331

    View details for Web of Science ID 000317295200050

  • Plasma Turbulence of Non-Specular Trail Plasmas as Measured by a High Power Large Aperture Radar 2013 US NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF URSI NATIONAL RADIO SCIENCE MEETING (USNC-URSI NRSM) Yee, J., Close, S. 2013
  • Theory and experiments characterizing hypervelocity impact plasmas: Toward weatherproof spacecraft systems 2013 US NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF URSI NATIONAL RADIO SCIENCE MEETING (USNC-URSI NRSM) Lee, N., Close, S. 2013
  • Clustering and Confidence Intervals for Radar Target Identification and Estimation 2013 US NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF URSI NATIONAL RADIO SCIENCE MEETING (USNC-URSI NRSM) Volz, R., Close, S., Erickson, P. J. 2013
  • Inverse filtering of radar signals using compressed sensing with application to meteors RADIO SCIENCE Volz, R., Close, S. 2012; 47
  • Determining meteoroid bulk densities using a plasma scattering model with high-power large-aperture radar data ICARUS Close, S., Volz, R., Loveland, R., Macdonell, A., Colestock, P., Linscott, I., Oppenheim, M. 2012; 221 (1): 300-309
  • Measurements of freely-expanding plasma from hypervelocity impacts INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF IMPACT ENGINEERING Lee, N., Close, S., Lauben, D., Linscott, I., Goel, A., Johnson, T., Yee, J., FLETCHER, A., Srama, R., BUGIEL, S., Mocker, A., Colestock, P., Green, S. 2012; 44: 40-49
  • Analysis of electromagnetic and electrostatic effects of particle impacts on spacecraft ADVANCES IN SPACE RESEARCH Kelley, M. C., Pancoast, S., Close, S., Wang, Z. 2012; 49 (6): 1029-1033
  • Targeted Parameter Inflation Within Ground-Based Augmentation Systems to Minimize Anomalous Ionospheric Impact JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT Seo, J., Lee, J., Pullen, S., Enge, P., Close, S. 2012; 49 (2): 587-599

    View details for DOI 10.2514/1.C031601

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302758400023

  • Meteoroid head echo polarization features studied by numerical electromagnetics modeling RADIO SCIENCE Vertatschitsch, L. E., Sahr, J. D., Colestock, P., Close, S. 2011; 46
  • Coherent matched filter signal-processing algorithms for probing the ionosphere using broadband RF data JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS Close, S., FLETCHER, A., Dunham, M., Linscott, I. 2011; 116
  • A medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbance observed from the ground and from space RADIO SCIENCE Dymond, K. F., Watts, C., Coker, C., Budzien, S. A., Bernhardt, P. A., Kassim, N., Lazio, T. J., Weiler, K., Crane, P. C., Ray, P. S., Cohen, A., Clarke, T., Rickard, L. J., Taylor, G. B., Schinzel, F., Pihlstrom, Y., Kuniyoshi, M., Close, S., Colestock, P., Myers, S., Datta, A. 2011; 46
  • Analysis of ALTAIR 1998 meteor radar data JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS Zinn, J., Close, S., Colestock, P. L., MacDonell, A., Loveland, R. 2011; 116
  • Comparison of methods of determining meteoroid range rates from linear frequency modulated chirped pulses RADIO SCIENCE Loveland, R., MacDonell, A., Close, S., Oppenheim, M., Colestock, P. 2011; 46
  • Development and error analysis of nonlinear ionospheric removal algorithm for ionospheric electron density determination using broadband RF data JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS Lay, E. H., Close, S., Colestock, P., Bust, G. 2011; 116
  • Polarization and scattering of a long-duration meteor trail JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS Close, S., Kelley, M., Vertatschitsch, L., Colestock, P., Oppenheim, M., Yee, J. 2011; 116
  • Electromagnetic pulses generated by meteoroid impacts on spacecraft JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS Close, S., Colestock, P., Cox, L., Kelley, M., Lee, N. 2010; 115
  • Dependence of radar signal strength on frequency and aspect angle of non-specular trails J. Geophys. Res. Close, S., Hamlin, T., Oppenheim, M., Cox, L., Colestock, P. 2008; 113: A06203

    View details for DOI 10.1029/2007JA012647

  • Meteor head echo radar data: Mass-velocity selection effects Icarus Close, S., Brown, P., Campbell-Brown, M., Oppenheim, M., Colestock, P. 2007; 186: 547-556
  • A new method for determining meteoroid mass from head echo data J. Geophys. Res. Close, S., Oppenheim, M., Durand, D., Dyrud, L. 2005; 110: A09308

    View details for DOI 10.1029/2004JA010950

  • A technique for calculating meteor plasma density and mass from radar head echo scattering Icarus Close, S., Oppenheim, M., Hunt, S., Coster, A. 2004; 168: 43-52
  • Scattering characteristics of high-resolution meteor head echoes detected at multiple frequencies J. Geophys. Res. Close, S., Oppenheim, M., Hunt, S., Dyrud, L. 2002; 107: 1295

    View details for DOI 10.1029/2002JA009253

  • Analysis of Perseid meteor head echo data collected using the Advanced Research Projects Agency Long-Range Tracking and Instrumentation Radar (ALTAIR) Radio Sci. Close, S., Hunt, S., Minardi, M., McKeen, F. 2000; 35: 1233-1240