RESEARCH

General Description

Our space research group studies the solar-terrestrial physics and space weather in collaboration with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Aalto University within the Kumpula Space Centre. The emphasis of our research is on understanding the formation of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), their evolution in the heliosphere and consequences in the near-Earth space environment. We aim at a profound understanding of the physics behind space weather phenomena and at using this knowledge to develop services for the society. Click here for a more detailed description of our research.

The philosophy of the group is to pursue a diversity of research methodologies including data analysis and interpretation, theoretical modeling and numerical simulations. An emphasis is on actively participating in the design and implementation of instrumentation for scientific space missions. We utilize observations from a number of ESA and NASA spacecraft, including ACE, Cluster, Hinode, Proba-2, STEREO, SOHO, Solar Dynamic Observatory, Themis, and Wind.


Our key research focuses are

  • Deciphering the evolution of coronal mass ejections from Sun to Earth
  • Van Allen radiation belt dynamics during different storm drivers
  • Solar wind magnetospheric energy coupling
  • Origin of the slow solar wind
  • Extreme solar and magnetospheric storms
  • Interplanetary shock waves


  • Our Simulation Page opening soon



    Our Research Projects

    Novel Data-Driven Coronal Simulation Tool

    Within the UH three-year research grant project (started in 2015) we develop a novel physics-based and data-driven coupled coronal simulation. The simulation tool will determine self-consistently the magnetic structure of erupting solar flux ropes, which is critical information for reliable long-term space weather forecasting. In particular, the model utilizes vector magnetograms from Solar Dynamic Observatory.

    HELCATS

    European Commission funded HEliospheric Cataloguing, Analysis and Techniques Service (HELCATS) (led by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK) is a consortium of nine institutes and universities. Using heliospheric wide-angle imaging, HELCATS tracks the evolution of CMEs and co-rotating interaction regions to the orbit of the Earth and beyond. UH is a Task leader of Work Package 4, which focuses on the building of a comprehensive interplanetary CME catalogue.


    Heliospheric Shock Database

    UH space physics team has developed and maintains the comprehensive Database of Heliospheric Shock Waves. The database includes fast forward and fast reverse interplanetary shocks observed by a large number of spacecraft, straightforward data search and sort options, and ASCII download.


    SWIFT

    Academy of Finland funded Solar Wind Fluctuations and Magnetosheath Transport (SWIFT) Consortium (led by Prof. Tuija Pulkkinen, Aalto University) focuses on processes in the near-Earth space. At UH we focus in particular on determining how fluctuations in the solar wind affect solar wind magnetospheric coupling efficiency and on the processes at the magnetospheric boundaries (e.g., Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices).