About the Airglow & Irregularities Research Group

Welcome!  This is the website for the research group headed by Prof. Jonathan Makela in the remote sensing and space sciences group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We focus on understanding the dynamics of the ionosphere using a combination of optical and radio techniques. This is accomplished through instrument development, experimental campaigns, and data analysis. Our group is part of the Remote Sensing & Space Science group in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. We are always looking for students interested in becoming involved in our research, especially those with a background in signal/image processing, plasma physics, or optical/radio instrument design.

Our research takes us all around the world. We are currently conducting experiments on two continents, with funding to set up sites at additional locations in the near future. See the map below for our past, current, and future locations.

In the Media

Engineering Pathways program expands statewide

Monday, January 23, 2023 - 15:03
The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign now offers greater access to its nationally ranked academic programs. Beginning Fall 2023, qualified students attending any Illinois community college can apply to participate in Engineering Pathways.

History of the Vermilion River Observatory

Monday, September 19, 2022 - 00:00
A nice retrospective of the Vermillion River Observatory that leads into the current activities of Illinois' Remote Sensing and Space Science group.

Makela catches up with alum Shawn Adderly

Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 00:00
More than 10 years after their first meeting, Adderly is now the Chief of Staff for Electric Operations in the Major Projects and Programs at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Makela is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at The Grainger College of Engineering.

Grainger Engineering joins KEEN

Sunday, September 20, 2020 - 00:00
Grainger Engineering is the 50th partner in KEEN with the goal to train engineers to have an entrepreneurial mindset so that when they graduate, they can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.

The ICON Mission

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 00:00
The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission launched on Oct. 10 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and some of the data it collects will be the result of work done at ECE ILLINOIS and The Grainger College of Engineering.