2016 Fellow

Presented to: Dr. Anthea J. Coster

Citation: For contributions to the development of global GPS
TEC database; and for utilizing GPS measurements for ionospheric and space weather studies.


Dr. Anthea Coster has made important contributions in quantifying GPS ionosphere effects and utilization of GPS measurements for ionospheric and atmospheric studies. With expertise in ground-based radio and optical instruments, and satellite-based measurements, Dr. Coster successfully compiled data from a myriad of instrumentation sources (the GPS network, incoherent scatter data from UHF/VHF Radars, and data from the IMAGE and DMSP satellites) for use in ionospheric research. Her work on analysis of ionospheric effect on satellite tracking, evaluation of the scintillation model WBMOD, comparisons between simultaneous GPS and incoherent scatter radar measurements of ionospheric TEC, and evaluations of several atmospheric density models and their input parameters for use in atmospheric drag calculations represent some of the earliest, original, ground-breaking efforts in the field, and are still widely cited today. Her pioneering efforts in introducing and relating GPS measurements to fundamental ionosphere studies has led to the recognition of GNSS as a viable low-cost, globally distributed sensor for space weather monitoring and ionosphere remote sensing.

Dr. Coster was responsible for several major facilities and programs including the GPS research program at MIT Haystack, the first real-time GPS Ionospheric Monitoring System and its installation at multiple radar sites worldwide; the MIT Radar Calibration System at the Millstone Hill Radar where she served for 20 years as the atmospheric scientist; the FPS-85 radar at Eglin AFB; and a MIT Lincoln Laboratory Advanced Concepts Program to test the use of GPS for water vapor variability measurement. Additionally, Dr. Coster is a passionate researcher, educator and lecturer.

Dr. Coster is an assistant director and principal research scientist at MIT Haystack Observatory. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Space Physics and Astronomy from Rice University. She has held numerous volunteer leadership positions in the ION, American Geophysical Union and the International Union of Radio Science.