UCL Astrophysics Group

Dr Anasuya Aruliah

Dr Anasuya Aruliah

Associate Professor

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 1997

Research summary

My main area of interest is the observation of the thermosphere using Fabry-Perot Interferometers, and in particular the investigation of small-scale structure and the energetics and dynamics of ionosphere-thermosphere coupling in the auroral regions. My latest interest is in satellite drag, which involves collaboration with space and satellite engineers. The Atmospheric Physics Laboratory operates FPIs and an all-sky FPI called SCANDI at 3 sites in the arctic regions of Scandinavia (Longyearbyen, Svalbard; Kiruna, Sweden; Sodankyla, Finland). These instruments were designed and built by the group and we aim to visit each one once every winter to perform routine calibration and maintenance. We operate the FPIs remotely from UCL throughout the long winter nights to observe auroral and airglow emissions. We have provided ground support observations for rocket experiments (e.g. CREX, Delta-1 and 2, RENU), and run coordinated experiments with the EISCAT and SuperDARN radars, and other instruments in that region, as well as providing observational comparisons with the APL's Earth atmospheric global circulation model - the Coupled Middle Atmosphere and Thermosphere (CMAT2) model. We are currently involved with the QB50 CubeSat mission, which was initially funded by an EU FP7 grant as a technology transfer mission for miniaturised sensors and the safe deployment of multiple nanosatellites from a single site. Thirty six CubeSats were deployed from the International Space Station and the Indian Polar Space Launch Vehicle rocket in summer 2017. We are currently monitoring their decaying orbits and collecting measurements of particle and electron densities as they slowing descend through regions of the upper atmosphere that are poorly understood.

Teaching summary

Teaching-wise I am the MSc Admissions Tutor for Physics & Astronomy, and I am currently teaching a 3rd year/MSc course Physics of the Earth. My past experience is of teaching and coordinating large classes: coordinated the 2nd year undergraduate laboratories for 3 years and then the 3rd year undergraduate laboratories for 2 years. I took on the core 2nd year course Electricity and Magnetism from 2011-2016, in addition to coordinating the 4th year Astronomy projects. I have lectured small and medium size undergraduate courses on Waves, Electricity and Magnetism; Physics of the Solar System. Additionally I am a personal tutor to 9 students, supervise undergraduate and postgraduate projects, and give problem classes for 1st year maths. I have experience on the Departmental Teaching Committee for Physics &Astronomy as the Astrophysics representative. I also regularly take on work experience students, in particular supervising longer term summer projects with 6th form students from under-represented schools, sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation.


University College London
, | 1991
University of Oxford
, | 1984


I have a Physics degree from the University of Oxford (Somerville College) in 1984. My PhD is from UCL (1991), where I continued as a post-doc in the Atmospheric Physics Laboratory. I have been running the group's ground-based optical programme since 1995. My work is divided between research and teaching in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. Currently I am a member of the NERC Peer Review College and have been a member of several NERC moderating panels over since the ground-based observational component of the UK's Solar-Terrestrial Physics research community was transferred from PPARC/STFC to NERC. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and member of the American Geophysical Union.