David A. Galvan

Associate Physical Scientist
Santa Monica Office

Education

Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics, UCLA; M.S. in geophysics and space physics, UCLA; B.S. in physics, UC San Diego

Overview

David Galvan is an Associate Physical Scientist with expertise in space science and engineering, remote sensing, quantitative data analysis, modeling and simulation. His policy research interests include space, transportation, the environment, energy, and defense. Since joining RAND in 2012, he has contributed to research efforts on a variety of topics including satellite anomalies, implications of disaggregated architectures on the space launch enterprise, dependence of U.S. launch vehicles on foreign components, alternative fuel vehicles, traveling ionospheric disturbances, and modeling and simulation of air-to-air combat.

Before joining RAND, Galvan was a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2009-2012). He used ground-based GPS receivers to study ionospheric disturbances caused by tsunamis.

Galvan earned his Ph.D. (2009) and M.S. (2005) in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA. He explored the dynamics and density structure of the plasmasphere, a population of cold plasma in Earth's inner magnetosphere, using remote sensing techniques such as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) imaging and total electron content (TEC) measurements from GPS receivers onboard LEO satellites. He also repaired and deployed geophysical magnetometers in Antarctica and Puerto Rico.

Galvan earned his B.S. (2003) from UC San Diego, majoring in Physics with a minor in Space Science and Engineering. While an undergraduate, he served as a co-op at NASA Johnson Space Center, a summer intern at NASA Ames Research Center, and an intern at ISS EarthKAM, a UCSD/NASA project enabling middle school students to command an Earth-pointing camera onboard the International Space Station.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluation of Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program
  • Analysis of Air Dominance System of Systems Architectures (SoSITE)
  • Solid Rocket Motor Industrial Base study
  • Department of Defense Leveraging of Commercial Space Services
  • Satellite Anomalies: Benefits of a Centralized Anomaly Database and Methods for Securely Sharing Information Among Satellite Operators

Selected Publications

David A. Galvan, Brett Hemenway, William Welser IV, Dave Baiocchi, Satellite Anomalies: Benefits of a Centralized Anomaly Database and Methods for Securely Sharing Information Among Satellite Operators, RAND Corporation (RR-560-DARPA), 2014

Galvan, D. A., A. Komjathy, M. Hickey, P. Stephens, J. B. Snively, T. Song, M. Butala, and A. J. Mannucci, "Ionospheric Signatures of Tohoku-Oki Tsunami of March 11, 2011: Model Comparisons Near the Epicenter," Radio Science, 47(RS4003), 2012

Galvan, D. A., A. Komjathy, M. P. Hickey, and A. J. Mannucci, "The 2009 Samoa and 2010 Chile Tsunamis as Observed in the Ionosphere Using GPS Total Electron Content," Journal of Geophysical Research, 115(A01214), 2011

Galvan, D. A., M. B. Moldwin, B. R. Sandel, and G. Crowley, "On the causes of plasmaspheric rotation variability: IMAGE EUV observations," Journal of Geophysical Research, 115(A01214), 2010

Galvan, D.A., "Using Extreme Ultraviolet Images and Total Electron Content to Study the Earth's Plasmasphere," Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 2009

Galvan, D. A., M. B. Moldwin, and B. R. Sandel, "Diurnal variation in plasmaspheric He+ inferred from extreme ultraviolet images," Journal of Geophysical Research, 113(A09216), 2008

Yizengaw, E., M. B. Moldwin, D. Galvan, B. A. Iijima, A. Komjathy, and A. Mannucci, "Global plasmaspheric TEC and its relative contribution to GPS TEC," Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 70:1541-1548, 2008

Yizengaw, E., M. B. Moldwin, D. Galvan, "Ionospheric signatures of a plasmaspheric plume over Europe," Geophysical Research Letters, 33(L17103), 2006

Honors & Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Award (2013): Seismic Ionosphere Exploration Team, NASA
  • JPL Outstanding Postdoctoral Research Award (2011), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for Best Poster in the Category of Earth Science
  • NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellowship (2005-2008), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Publications