Principal Investigator

Dr. Xian lu

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Clemson University

Office Location: 302A Kinard Laboratory
Office Phone: (864) 656-4204
Fax: (864) 656-0805
Curriculum Vita

Dr. Lu’s research focuses on the study of the atmospheric wave dynamics and coupling (including gravity waves, planetary waves and tides), and the neutral-plasma coupling in the Atmosphere-Magnesosphere-Ionosphere (AIM) system. She has extensive research experiences of analyzing the observational data from the satellite measurements as well as from the ground-based instruments such as lidar, airglow imager, meteor radar, and radiosonde. She also has the rich experiences of applying the assimilation data from MERRA and ECMWF for the wave studies. Her modeling experiences include developing a mechanistic model to study the planetary waves in Antarctica, and working with several general circulation models for the studies of wave dynamics and AIM coupling, which include the CTIPe, WACCM, and WAM. Dr. Lu is a PI and Co-I of several projects funded by NSF and NASA. She has been frequently serving as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journal papers and science proposals. She has extensive and successful experiences of advising graduate and undergraduate students in the atmospheric and space science studies.

Professional Experience:

  • Clemson University, 2016-, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Colorado Boulder, 2012–16, Research Scientist & Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow (1 yr)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2011–12, Postdoctoral Researcher
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006–11, Graduate Research Assistant
  • High Altitude Observatory (HAO), NCAR, 2010–11, Graduate Student Visitor

Research Interests:

  • Atmospheric wave dynamics including gravity waves, planetary waves and tides.
  • Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere coupling and space weather.
  • Data analysis and numerical modeling of atmospheric dynamics and space weather.
  • Lidar remote sensing technology.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. He Huang

Dr. Huang studied at Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and received her PhD degree in Space Physics in 2016. She has joined Clemson University as a visiting scholar in February, 2018. Her research focuses on the altitudinal and longitudinal variations of topside equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) including their assymmetries and merging height. Dr. Huang is interested in using theoretical model and observations to explain the mechanisms for the variations of the ionospheric parameters and how neutral dynamics including waves and electrodynamics affect the ionosphere.

Dr. Quan Gan

Dr. Gan received his bachalor degree in Electronic Information Engineering in 2006 and his Ph.D. degree in Space Physics in 2012 from Wuhan University in China. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Louisville in Kentucky between November 2013 and August 2016 and a short-term visiting scholar at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado (July 2015 - January 2016). He performed another 2-year postdoctoral research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Clemson University between August 2016 - July 2018 (working with Dr. Jens Oberheide). He has joined our group since August 2018. His research interests include wave dyanmics in the coupled atmosphere, and lower/upper atmosphere coupling. He has extensive research experiences in the satellite data analysis, and whole atmosphere modeling.

Graduate Student

Haonan Wu (

Mr. Haonan Wu graduated from University of Science and Technology of China and obtained his BS degree in Space Physics in 2017. He joined Clemson University in the Fall 2017. Haonan is working on atmospheric wave dynamics, numerical modeling and supercomputing. He is interested in using observations and modelings to explain the real-world atmospheric phenomena and understand the underlying physics.

Qing Han

Mr. Qing Han obtained his Bachalor degree from Wuhan University and master degree in remote sensing from Chinese Academy of Science in Shanghai. He joins Clemson University in the Fall 2018.

Undergraduate Student

Lester Carson (

Mr. Lester Carson is working on characterizing planetary wave features in the Earth's atmosphere using the reanalysis data and atmospheric models. Lester is applying the 2-Dimensional (2D) Fourier analysis to extract waves of interests and examine their seasonal and latitudinal distribution and variations.

Mikael Toye (

Mr. Mikael Toye is using satellite data to diagnose atmospheric waves including tides and planetary waves. He is also examining the signals of solar cycle, interannual and seasonal variabilities on atmospheric wave dynamics.

Yu Wang (

Ms. Yu Wang is studying the high-to-medium frequecy and mesoscale gravity waves using the high-resolution Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). Her senior project focuses on exacting gravity waves from WACCM and comparing them with ground-based lidar observations.

Casey Dowdle (

Mr. Casey Dowdle is running the Specific Dynamics Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (SD-WACCM) on the Palmetto supercomputer system. He is studying the long-term climate trend.


William Krier

Mr. William (Billy) Krier was an undergraduate student working on the SuperDARN data and high-latitude convection pattern from the two ionosphere-thermosphere (IT) coupling models (TIE-GCM and CTIPe). Billy's study was important to valididate and improve the forecasting models for space weather predications.