Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment


Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment - Staff

Sushil Kumar
  • Sushil Kumar
    Job Info
    School of Engineering and Physics
    Position Title:
    Associate Professor
    Contact Info
    Phone #:
    +679 32 32144
    Fax #:
    32 31511/ 32 31538
  • Personal Info

    PhD B'tullah. MSc BSc Agra

    I have more than 20 years of experience in research (Atmospheric and Space Physics) and teaching at various universities and Institutes. I have carried out collaborative work with national research institutes/universities in India namely: Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Bombay, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. I have initiated  the research activities at the USP in the area of Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Very low frequency (VLF) under research grant from university in collaboration with World-Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN), University of Washington, USA (pls visit webflash.ess.washington.edu/). My recent research is supported by Space, Telecommunications and Radio Science (STAR) laboratory, Stanford University, USA, under the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY 2007) project supported by UN/NASA. My research is supported through the university funding and technical, scientific & instrumental support is provided by collaborators.

    I graduated with MSc Physics with Electronics from St. John’s College (Agra University), India, in 1989. year 1989 and PG Diploma in Space Science and Applications from Gujarat University, India, in 1990. My Ph.D. in Physics (Space Physics) from Barkatullah University, Bhopal, India, in 1994, dealt with Experimental study of VHF ionospheric scintillations, experimental and theoretical study of whistler and related phenomena at low latitudes. The PhD work was carried out under the All India Coordinated Program on Ionospheric Thermospheric Studies (AICPITS) sponsored by Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. I had participated in the XVIIIth Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, during December 1998 to March 1999, during my post-doctoral fellowship.


    The area of my teaching interest includes; Electronics, Electromagnetism, Radio Wave propagation, Signals and Systems, Communication. Before joining USP in 2002, I have taught the courses on Electrodynamics, Signals and Systems, Communications, Fortran Programming, Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics, Electronics, Modern Physics, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Radio Wave Communication. 

    At USP I have been involved with the teaching of several UG and PG courses: PH101: Quantum and Electrical Physics, PH102; Classical Physics, PH105: Physics for Today’s World, PH106: Physics for other Sciences, PH203:Electromagnetism, PH205: Electronics, PH302: Electrical Communication & Instrumentation, PH306:Measurement and Control of Physical Systems, PH400: Research Projects in Physics, PH402: Radio Wave Propagation, PH421:Electronics, Active device. PH422: Modulation Methods and Information Theory, EV405: Field and Laboratory Techniques in Environmental studies: SC400: Research Methods.


    My current areas of research interest are;

    • Remote sensing of upper atmosphere using ELF/VLF radio wave technique

    Lightning discharges are natural powerful transmitters of wide electromagnetic spectrum with maximum energy in the VLF and ELF bands. The energy contained in impulse like signals called radio atmospheric or sferics is guided for long distance by multiple reflections from ground/ocean and lower ionosphere. A part of energy sometimes propagates along earth’s magnetic field lines in the ionosphere and magnetosphere and is received as ‘whistlers’. The received signals at long distances contain a great deal of information about the state of ionosphere and magnetosphere along the path and form a novel tool for research and navigational communication. A facility called “SoftPAL” software base Amplitude and Phase recording of Very Low Frequency (VLF) transmitters was established in Sept. 2006 that is used to study the perturbations of VLF propagation due to strong lightnings, solar flares and earthquakes. A new state of art ELF-VLF data recording and analysis System called Atmospheric Weather Electromagnetic System for Observation Modeling and Education (AWESOME) was installed in July 2009.

    • Space Weather and its Technological Impacts

    The Space Weather (http://www.spaceweather.com) is related with the change in upper atmosphere due to solar disturbances. Southward Interplanetary Magnetic fields (IMF BS) interconnects with the northward Earth’s magnetic field and permit solar wind energy transport into the Earth’s magnetosphere forming geomagnetic storms which cause severe amplitude and phase scintillations/perturbations on signals used in satellite communications and Global Positioning System (GPS). The depression in the horizontal component (H) of the earth’s magnetic field lasting over several hours is the characteristic signature of a geomagnetic storm. A geomagnetic storm is caused by the ring current encircling the earth in the westward direction and can be monitored by the geomagnetic index ‘Dst’. F2-region response of a geomagnetic storm is called an ionospheric storm. Currently, efforts are being made to set-up the GPS- GSV4004B to study the Space weather impacts on Ionospheric electron content and L band scintillation in the South Pacific Region. A clear understanding of interplanetary causes of geomagnetic storms and ionospheric storms should help better in understanding the so called Space Weather Research and Forecasting.

    • Climate Change (Upper and Lower Atmosphere): Natural Hazards

    Study of natural hazards is important for scientific interest as well as to reduce the damages by extreme natural events. The threats due these events are increasing due to increase in population, economic and infrastructure development etc. mainly in terms of cost. Also the rising concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are producing the global warming in lower atmosphere and the cooling in the upper atmosphere (ionosphere) starting from 50 km or so. The global climate models indicate relatively more frequent severe weather events such as tropical cyclones and resulting floods. The South Pacific Region, in particular, is highly vulnerable to the natural hazards such as severe earthquakes that may also result in tsunami and cyclones which may cause severe floods etc.

    • Plasma waves, fields and currents in the magnetosphere

    A wide variety of plasma waves can be excited in the magnetosphere under different plasma conditions. The magnetospheric electric fields and currents are important parameters for magnetospheric processes. The study of these waves is useful in understanding the various astrophysical and geophysical phenomena and numerous plasma applications. We study plasma waves to understand the physics of natural plasmas. Much of the known matter in the universe exists in the plasma state ( 99.9%).

    Service to the Profession

    • Reviewer for the Journals: Reviewer for the Journals: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar Terrestrial Physics and Advances in Space Research, Planetary and Space Science, Published by Elsevier Press, Earth Planet and Space, Japan, Radio Science (AGU), USA, and Ind. J. Radio and Space Physics, Journal of Atmospheric and Ocean Technology..

    • Associate Editor-Physics: South Pacific Journal of Natural Sciences, USP-FSTE, published by CSIRO, Australia. 2004 to date.

    • Chief Editor: South Pacific Journal of Natural Sciences, Volume (27), 2009.



    • American Geophysics Union, USA

    • Associate- Committee of Space Research (COSPAR), France 

    Visiting Fellowships and Awards

    • Ratu Sir Kamesese Mara Visiting Fellowship, Department of Physics, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand. Awarded by Otago University. 15 January to14 April 2011.

    • Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence-2008”, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. Awarded April 2009.

    • Travel support under young scientist award by United Nations for Outer Space Program to present a research paper in COSPAR Colloquium, 2002, Bulgaria.

    • Visiting Associateship (University Teachers Support) by Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedadad, India, 2002


    • Space Physics Group, Physics Department, Otago University.

    • STAR laboratory, Stanford University, USA.

    • World-wide Lightning Location network, University of Washington, USA.

    • Indian institute of Geomagnetism, India. 

    • Space Physics laboratory, Bhopal University, Bhopal, India

    Collaborative Projects

    • Very Low Frequency Direction Finding: Coordinated Whistler Studies at Antarctica, with University of Natal, SA. and Univ. of Bhopal, India, and  under South African-Indo Inter-Governmental Science and Technology Cooperation Program – Funded by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi, India, January 2003-06. (Completed).

    • Global Lightning Detection: In collaboration with World Wide Lightning Location (WWLL) Network, Dunedin, New Zealand. There are 35 universities and national institutes all over the world currently participating in WWLLN. 2003 to date. Funded by WWLLN and USP.

    • Remote sensing of the lower ionosphere by simultaneous observations of VLF radio wave signals in Fiji and New Zealand. Dr. Sushil Kumar, Physics, SEP, USP, and Dr. N. R. Thomson (Associate. Prof.), Dr C. J. Rodger, Radio and Space Physics Group, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand. 2006-2010. Funded by USP.

    • Upper Atmospheric Investigation Using Atmospheric Weather Electromagnetic System for Observation, Modelling, and Education (AWESOME), ELF-VLF Radio Wave Recorder. In collaboration with STAR Laboratory of Stanford University, USA.  Jan 2010 to date. Funded by Stanford University and USP.

    Research Publications

    Journals (50), Book chapter (01), Tech. Pub (01), Edited/Refereed Proceedings (07), Conferences (37)

    Some selected publications 

    • Sushil Kumar, A.K. Singh, Pawan Chauhan, A. K. Gwal, Barbal Singh and R. P. Singh.  Multistation analysis of VHF radio wave scintillations at low latitudes, Ind. J. Radio & Space Phys., 22, 267-272, 1993.

    • Sushil Kumar, S. K. Dixit and A. K. Gwal, Propagation of tweek atmospherics in the earth-ionosphere waveguide, IL Nuavo Cimento C, 17, 275-280, 1994. 

    • Sushil Kumar, A. K. Gwal, B. M. Pathan and D. R. K. Rao, Zonal drifts of ionospheric irregularities at temperate latitude in the Indian region, Annales Geophysicae, 13, 724-729, 1995. 

    • S. Kumar, S. K. Dixit and A. K. Gwal, Electron cyclotron waves in presence of parallel electric fields in the Earth’s auroral magnetoplasma, Annales Geophysicae, 15, 24-28, 1997.

    • Sushil Kumar H. Chandra, G. D. Vyas, D. R. K. Rao, B. M. Pathan, A. Iype, B. R. Sekaran, A. Naidu, S. M. Sadique, C. S. Salgaonkar, T. R. Tyagi, P. N. Vijya Kumar, Lakha Singh, K. N. Iyer, A. K. Gwal,  , U. P. Singh, Birbal Singh, V. K. Jain, G. N. Navneeth, P. V. Koparakar, P. V. S. RamaRao, P. T. Jayachandran, P. Sriram, N.Y.S. Santa Rao, A. DasGupta, K. Basu and R.G. Rastogi, Co-ordinated observations of VHF scintillations in India during February-March 1993 Ind. J. Radio & Space Phys., 29, 1-15, 2000.

    • Sushil Kumar and A. K. Gwal, VHF ionospheric scintillations at equatorial anomaly crest: Solar and magnetic activity effects, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., 62, 157-167, 2000.

    • Girija Rajaram, Ajay Dhar and S Kumar, Comparison of 30 MHz Riometer and geomagnetic variations at the Indian Antarctic Station Maitri on the Zero Solar Wind day of 11May 1999, with the high solar wind day 18 May, 1999, Advances in Space Research, 28, 1661-1667, 2001.

    • Sunil K. Singh, Sushil Kumar and A. K. Gwal, Daytime very low frequency (VLF) emissions observed at Maitri, Antarctica,  Ind. J. Phys. 77B(4), 463-467, 2003.

    • Sushil Kumar, H. Chandra and S. Sharma, Geomagnetic storms and ionospheric effects observed at equatorial anomaly crest in Indian Region, J. Atmos. Sol.- Terr. Phys., 67, 581-594, 2005.

    • Sushil Kumar, F2-region response of geomagnetic storms at equatorial anomaly crest, Physica Scripta,, Vol. 72(1)  100-104, 2005.

    • V. Ramachandran, S. Kumar,  and A. Kishore Remote sensing of cloud-to-ground lightning location using the TOGA of sferics, Atmos. Res. Lett., 6, 128-132, 2005. 

    • S. Kumar, S. Sharma, H. Chandra,Interplanetary origin of magnetic storms and their F2-region response at the equatorial anomaly, Advances in Space Research, 37, 1777-1783, 2006.

    • Sushil Kumar, A. Kishore, and V. Ramachandran, Ionospheric Scintillation on 3.925 GHz signal from Intelsat 701 in the South Pacific Region, Physica Scripta, 75, 258-262, 2007.

    • Sushil Kumar, A. Deo, A. Kishore, and V. Ramachandran, Whistlers observed at the low latitude ground based VLF facility in the South Pacific region, J. Atmos. Sol.- Terr. Phys.,  69, 1366-1376,  2007. 

    • V. Ramachandran, Justine Prakash, Anil Deo and S. Kumar, Lightning location from single station measurements and Validation with WWLLN data, Annales Geophysicae, 25, 1509-1517, 2007. 

    • Sushil Kumar, Abhikesh Kumar, Craig J. Rodger, Subionospheric early VLF perturbations observed at Suva: VLF detection of red sprites in the day, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A03311, doi:10.1029/2007JA012734, 2008, American Geophysical Union (AGU).

    • Sushil Kumar, A. Kishore, V. Ramachandran, Higher harmonic tweek sferics observed at low latitude:  Estimation of VLF reflection heights and tweeks propagation distance, Annales Geophysicae, 26, 1451–1459, 2008. 

    • Richard L Dowden1, Robert H Holzworth2, Craig J Rodger3, János Lichtenberger4, Neil R Thomson3, Abram R Jacobson2, Erin Lay2, James B Brundell1, Thomas J Lyons5, Steven O'Keefe6, Zen Kawasaki7, Colin Price8, Victor Prior9, Pascal Ortéga10, James Weinman11, Yuri Mikhailov12, Ronald Woodman13, Xiushu Qie14, Gary Burns15, Andrew Collier16, Osmar Pinto Junior17, Ricardo Diaz18, Claudia Adamo19, Earle R Williams20, Sushil Kumar21, G. B. Raga22, Jose M Rosado23, Eldo E. Avila24, Mark A Clilverd25, Thomas Ulich26, Peter Gorham27, Thomas J G Shanahan28, Thomas Osipowicz29, Gregory Cook30, Yang Zhao31, World-Wide Lightning Location Using VLF Propagation in the Earth-Ionosphere Waveguide, IEEE Antennas and Wave Propagation Mag., 50(5), 40-60, 2008.

    • Sushil Kumar, Waveguide parameters of 19.8 kHz signal propagating over a long path, Research Letters in Physics, USA, Vol. 09, 1-4, doi:10.1155/2009/216373, 2009.

    • Sushil Kumar, Anil Deo, V. Ramachandran, Nighttime D-region equivalent electron density determined from tweek sferics observed in the South Pacific Region, Earth Planet Space, 61, 905-9, 2009.

    • Sheikh Izzal Azid and Sushil Kumar, Analysis and performance of a low cost SMS based Home security system, International Journal of Smart Home, Vol. 5, No. 3, 15-24, 2011.

    • Rajesh Singh, B. Veenadhari, Ajeet K. Maurya, Morris B Cohen, Sushil Kumar, R Selvakumaran,  P. Pant, Abhay K Singh, Umran S Inan, D-region ionosphere response to the Total Solar Eclipse of 22 July 2009 deduced from VLF tweek observations in the Indian sector, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 116, A10301, doi:10.1029/2011JA016641, 2011. American Geophysical Union (AGU)

    • B. Veenadhari, R. Selvakumaran, Rajesh Singh, Ajeet K. Maurya, N. Gopalswamy, Sushil Kumar, T. Kikuchi, CME-driven shocks and the associated sudden commencements/sudden impulses, Journal of Geophysical. Research (Space Physics), 117, A04210, doi:10.1029/2011JA017216, 2012. American Geophysical Union (AGU).   

    • Ajeet K. Maurya, Rajesh Singh, B. Veenadhari, Sushil Kumar, M. B. Cohen, R. Selvakumaran, P. Pant, A.K. Singh, U.S. Inan, Morphological features of Tweeks and nighttime D-region ionosphere at tweek reflection height from the observations in the low latitude Indian Sector, Journal of Geophysical. Research (Space Physics),117, A05301, doi:10.1029/2011JA016976, 2012. 

    • M. M. Salut, M. Abdullah,K. L. Graf, M. B. Cohen, B. R. T. Cotts and Sushil Kumar, Long ionospheric recovery perturbations associated with lightning discharges, Journal of Geophysical. Research (Space Physics), 117, A08311, doi:10.1029/2012JA017567, 2012. 

    • Ajeet. K. Maurya, B.Veenadhari, Rajesh Singh, Sushil Kumar,  M. B. Cohen, P. Pant, A.K. Singh, R Selvakumaran, Umran S Inan, Nighttime D-region electron density measurements from tweek radio atmospherics recorded at low latitudes, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), VOL. 117, A11308, doi:10.1029/2012JA017876, 2012.

    • Sushil Kumar and Abhikesh Kumar, Early VLF perturbations observed at low latitude: Occurrence and scattering characteristics, Earth Planets Space, Earth Planets Space, 65, 25–37, 2013.  

    • B. A. Carter, K. Zhang, R. Norman, V. V. Kumar and Sushil Kumar, On the occurrence of the equatorial F-region irregularities during solar minimum using radio occultation measurements, Journal of Geophysical. Research (Space Physics), VOL. 118, 1–13, doi:10.1002/jgra.50089, 2013.

    • A. K. Maurya, R. Singh, B. Veenadhari, Sushil Kumar, and A. K. Singh, Sub-ionospheric VLF perturbations associated with the 12 May 2008 M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, EGU, France. (In press).


    Attended several international and national conferences, symposia, summer schools, and presented more than 36 research papers in conferences. 

    Recent presentations

    • Sushil Kumar and Abhikesh Kumar, Ionospheric response to the space weather events during December 2006 in the South Pacific Region, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) General Scientific Assembly, 28 June -07 July 2011, Melbourne, Australia.

    • Sushil Kumar and Abhikesh Kumar, Tracking of tropical cyclonic storms and thunderstorms in the South Pacific region – Application of World-Wide Lightning Location Network, Science, Technology and Resources Network (STAR) Conference,3-6 November, 2012, Noumea, New Caledonia

    • Sushil Kumar and Abhikesh Kumar, Morphological features of Subionospheric VLF signals Observed in Fiji with AWESOME setup, presented in VLF Sharjah-Stanford Workshop, Sharjah, 22-24 February, 2010.

    • B. Veenadhari, Rajesh Singh, Sushil Kumar and Ajeet Maurya,  Low Latitude - Sferics, Tweeks and Whistlers: Present Understanding and Future Prospective, Tutorial presented in VLF Sharjah-Stanford Workshop, Sharjah, 22-24 February, 2010.

    • Sushil Kumar, Rajesh Singh, B. Veenadhari, Ajeet Maurya, Lightning Generated Sferics: Diagnostics Tools to Study Upper Atmosphere, Presented in AOGS 2010, Hyderabad, 2010.

    • Sushil Kumar, A brief Review of the long term effect of Climate Change on the upper atmosphere and ionosphere – Space Weather Contribution, International Conference on Climate Renewable energy and Climate Change, 6-10 December 2010, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.

    • Sushil Kumar and Abhikesh Kumar, Ionospheric response to the space weather events during December 2006 in the South Pacific Region, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) General Scientific Assembly, 28 June -07 July 2011, Melbourne, Australia.

    • Sushil Kumar, Solar activity control on the climate change of the Earth’s lower and upper atmosphere, Presented, International Conference on Chemistry, Environment and Climate Change, 14-16 September 2011, USP, Fiji.

    • Abhikesh Kumar and Sushil Kumar, A study on subionospheric VLF signals observed in Fiji. Presented in Indo-US VLF workshop, 27 Nov-01 Dec 2011, Goa, India.

    • Sushil Kumar, Rajesh Singh, B. Veenadhari, Abhikesh Kumar, and Ajeet Maurya, Space Weather: ELF-VLF observations, Presented in Indo-US VLF workshop, 27 Nov-01 Dec 2011, Goa, India.

    • Ajeet Maurya,  Rajesh Singh, B. Veenadhari, Sushil Kumar,  M.B. Cohen, R. Shelvakaran, Sneha Gokani, P. Pant, A.K. Singh, Umran S. Inan, Nighttime D-region density measurements from Tweek radio atmospherics recorded at low latitudes Presented in Indo-US VLF workshop, 27 Nov-01 Dec 2011, Goa, India.


    Further Information

    E-mail: kumar_su@usp.ac.fj

    Phone: +679-323 2144

    Fax:      +679 3231511

    Publications in USP Electronic Research Repository

Disclaimer & Copyright l Contact Us l USP's 50th Anniversary Website l 
© Copyright 1968 - 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Page updated: Friday, March 18, 2016
Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment
The University of the South Pacific
Private Bag, Laucala Campus,
Suva, Fiji.
Tel: (+679) 323 1000
Fax: (+679) 323 1506