Space Physics


Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J., Ph.D. (Director)
Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr. (Coordinator)


Dr. Felix Muga III (Mathematics Department)
Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J. (Jesuit Residence, Ateneo de Manila University)
Fr. Francis Glover, S.J. (Ateneo de Davao University)
Patrick Medina (Ateneo Campus Network Group)

Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto (Kyushu University’s SERC)
Dr. Akihiro Ikeda (SERC)
Ms. Grace Rolusta (Ph.D. Student, SERC)
Dr. Keith Groves (SCINDA)
Dr. James Sutton (Australia)


Vernice Casareno (M.S. student)
Bamm Gabriana (M.S. student)

Research Interests

Our current research interests are as follows:

  1. Database of theoretical ionograms given the electron density profiles.
  2. Geomagnetic mapping of the Philippines using spherical harmonics and the data from the MAGDAS magnetometer stations in the Philippines.
  3. Magnetic pulsations due to the solar wind bombarding the magnetopause


Last February 8, 2010, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. of the Manila Observatory and Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto of Kyushu University’s Space Environment Research Center (SERC), in the presence of representatives of Manila Observatory, Ateneo de Manila University, and Kyushu University.  In the Memorandum of Agreement, it was stipulated that the Manila Observatory’s Ionospheric Research Building will be renovated and renamed as the Kyushu University’s SERC (Space Environment Research Center) Subcenter at the Manila Observatory. The SERC Subcenter shall house the server for the six magnetometer stations in the Philippines, which forms part of the the MAGDAS/CPMN (Magnetic Device Acquisition System/Circum-Pan Pacific Magnetometer Network).

The renovation of the Ionosphere building will be completed this July 2010.  As of July 08, the new electrical wires have been laid out, the electrical fixtures installed, and the ceiling was replaced with acoustic boards.  The repainting job follows next, together with the furnishings.

Present Equipments

Equatorial Oblique Ionosonde. This equipment was installed by Dr. David Sutton of DSTO Australia. This radar sends a signal from the Philippines to Australia by reflecting it through the ionosphere. From the received signal, the properties of the equatorial ionospheric layers can be determined.

SCINDA. This equipment was installed by Dr. Keith Groves for studying the ionospheric scintillations which disrupts GPS signals.  This instrument is part of the global SCINDA network.  The other SCINDA stations are in Baguio and Davao.

FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) Radar. The radar was installed by SERC last March 2009 and repaired last November 2009. The radar operates in a 30-minute cycle. In the first 28 minutes of operation, the radar acts as a doppler radar which measures the vertical speed of the ionospheric plasma, which would allow us to study the interplanetary electric and magnetic fields. In the next 2 minutes of operation, the radar acts as an ionosonde. The radar sweeps from 2 to 12 MHz and measures the time for the signal to return. From this time delay, the radar computes the virtual height of the ionosphere at a particular frequency. From this ionogram may be deduced the the state of the ionospheric layers D, E, F1, and F2.

International Data Sources

SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory)

ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) Satellite



R. E. S. Otadoy, D. McNamara SJ, K. Yumoto, and MAGDAS Group, “Proposal to Use MAGDAS/CPMN to Study the Equatorial Electrojet: A Philippine Contribution to the International Heliophysical Year,” Earth, Moon, and Planets, 104(1-4), 167-172 (2009). ISSN: 0167-9295 (Print) 1573-0794 (Online), DOI 10.1007/s11038-008-9271-x.


Quirino M. Sugon Jr., Sarah Bragais, and Daniel J. McNamara, “Copernicus’s epicycles from Newton’s gravitational force law via linear perturbation theory in geometric algebra,” arXiv:0807.2708v1 [] (17 Jul 2008).

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