Montana State University

Department of Physics

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173840
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840

Tel: (406) 994-3614
Fax: (406) 994-4452
Location: EPS building, Room 264

Department Head:
Prof. Yves Idzerda

For suggestions or corrections to the Web site, email the


David Klumpar, Ph.D -  Research Professor, Director SSEL

Email: You will need to type email address
Phone: 406-994-6169
Fax: 406-994-4452
EPS Room , MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

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Biographical Sketch:
Ph.D. Physics, 1972, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
M.S. Physics, 1968, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
B.A. Physics and Mathematics, 1965, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

The Space Science and Engineering Laboratory (SSEL), Director
The Space Science and Engineering Laboratory at Montana State University (MSU) is an interdisciplinary center of expertise with faculty, staff, and facilities for space research and space technologies. The laboratory will enable students and faculty in the sciences and engineering disciplines to conduct space science research through the development of space hardware instrumentation. SSEL was started under the auspices of the Department of Physics at MSU in November, 2000. SSEL strengthens existing programs in solar-terrestrial physics, microelectronic optical mechanisms, composite and ultralight structures, bio-films, and remote sensing.

NASA's Geospace Management Operations Working Group (GMOWG), Chair

Space Physics:

Aurora and Ionosphere
  • Particle acceleration:
  • What are the processes that accelerate the electrons that are mainly responsible for generating the auroral emissions. Electric fields within and above the high latitude ionosphere at altitude from a few hundred kilometers to above 20,000 km undoubtedly are important, but how are these fields generated and maintained.
  • Ion energization and heating
  • A significant and variable fraction of the earth's magnetosphere contains ions and electrrons of Geogenic origin. Measurements have shown that Oxygen ions are a significant component of the Earth's radiation belts. These ions cannot have originated at the Sun. Measuremements in the polar ionosphere have demonstrated that ionospheric ions are energized and injected into the earth's magnetosphere. Complex interactions with plasma waves play an important role in theis ion energization and heating, but hte detailed nature of these complex plasma physical processes remains to be unraveled.
    Space Weather
    • Geospace response to solar activity
    • Living with a Star
    Space Instrumentation
  • The Montana EaRth Orbiting Pico Explorer (MEROPE) satellite
  • The MEROPE satellite is managed, designed, fabricated, tested, and will be operated by students at Montana State University under support from the Montana Space Grant Consortium and the Montana EPSCoR program. The satellite is being fabricated in MSU's Space Science and Engineering Laboratory. This miniature cube-shaped satellite measures just 100 mm on a side and tips the scales at a mere 1 kg, yet carries all subsystems needed to operate independently in space. The scientific experiment on MEROPE will measure the earth's energetic charged particle radiation.
  • The TEAMS Instrument on NASA's Fast Auroral SnapshoT Explorer (FAST)
  • The Fast Auroral SnapshoT Explorer (FAST) is a NASA Small Explorer Mission under the direction of U C Berkeley Principal Investigator Dr. Charles Carlson. The satellite is making meaasurements of unprecedented detail of electrodynamic processes in the Auroral acceleration regions. The satelite was launched in August, 1996 into a near polar orbit. Among the four principal instruments on FAST is the Time-of-flight, Energy, Angle, Mass Spectrograph (TEAMS) energetic ion mass spectrometer.

    Selected Publications:
    Klumpar, D. M. , E. Möbius, L. M. Kistler, M. Popecki, E. G. Shelley, E. Hertzberg, K. Crocker, M. Granoff, Li Tang, C. W. Carlson, J. McFadden, B. Klecker, F. Eberl, E. Kuenneth, H Kaestle, M. Ertl, W. K. Peterson, and D. Hovestadt, The Time-of-Flight Energy, Angle, Mass Spectrograph (TEAMS) Experiment for FAST, in press, Space Science Reviews, D. Reidel PublishingCo., Dordrecht, Holland, 2000.

    Lund, E. J., E. Möbius, D. M. Klumpar, L. M. Kistler, M. A. Popecki, B. Klecker, R. E. Ergun, J. P. McFadden, C. W. Carlson, and R. J. Strangeway, Direct comparison of transverse ion acceleration mechanisms in the auroral region at solar minimum, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 22801, 1999.

    McFadden, J. P., C. W. Carlson, R. E. Ergun, D. M. Klumpar, and E. Möbius, Ion and electron characteristics in auroral density cavities associated with ion beams: No evidence for cold ionospheric plasma, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 14671, 1999.
    Boehm, M. H., D. M. Klumpar, E. Möbius, L. M. Kistler, J. P. McFadden, C. W. Carlson, R. E. Ergun, Fast Auroral Snapshot Observations of Bouncing Ion Distributions: Field-line Length Measurements, J. Geophys. Res.,104, 2343, 1999.

    Bonnell, J., R. C. Elphic, S. Palfery, R. J. Strangeway, W. K.Peterson, D. Klumpar, C. W. Carlson, R. E. Ergun, J. P. McFadden, Observations of polar cap arcs on FAST, J. Geophys. Res.,104, 12,669, 1999.

    Möbius, E., L. Tang, L. M. Kistler, M. Popecki, E. J. Lund, D. Klumpar, W. Peterson, E. G. Shelley, B. Klecker, D. Hovestadt, C. W. Carlson, R. Ergun, J. P. McFadden, F. Mozer, M. Temerin, C. Cattell, R. Elphic, R. Strangeway, and R. Pfaff, Species dependent energies in upward directed ion beams over auroral arcs as observed with FAST TEAMS, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 2029, 1998.

    Personal webpage updated: 3/01/2007 10:53:40 AM

    Updated: October 16, 2013 9:02