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231. Dr Mangalathayil Ali Abdu

Dr. Mangalathayil Ali Abdu born in the state of Kerala, India on 7 July, 1938 has made significant contributions to the studies of equatorial aeronomy.   After his graduation and post graduation in Kerala, he joined the Physical Research Laboratory, founded by the father of the Indian Space program, (late) Professor Vikram Sarabhai, in whose memory and honour this award is being presented, to do his doctorate in Ionospheric physics.  

After a brief stint as a postdoctoral fellow in Canada, he moved over to Brazil in 1971, to take up teaching in Sao Palo.   From 1973 till date he has been associated with the Brazilian Institute of Space Research (INPE) in Sao Jose dos Campos as one of the senior researchers and as a motivator.   From 1992 to 1996 he spearheaded aeronomy research in INPE as the head of the division.

Dr. Abdu was instrumental for a series of sounding rocket experiments from Brazil, design and implementation of an ionospheric research station in Sao Luis city and establishment of a VHF radar facility in Brazil in addition to development of several satellite experiments.

He has made fundamental and pioneering contributions to equatorial electrodynamics in general, and phenomena like equatorial ionization anomaly, equatorial electro jet, equatorial spread F, ionosphere-thermosphere coupling processes, ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling and the like.
Apart from his individual scientific contributions, Dr. Abdu fostered Space Research in Brazil, spearheaded several international collaborations with other South American countries, and also with Japan, the United States and India.   He successfully organized international coordinated, innovative experimental campaigns like COPEX (Conjugate Point Experiment) by making use of the availability of geo-magnetically conjugate locations within Brazil. 

Dr. Abdu has striven for the cause of basic space sciences – in the Latin American countries in particular. He has more than 200 publications in refereed journals to his credit.
In view of Dr. Mangalathayil Ali Abdu’s remarkable spirit of scientific cooperation, his significant discoveries pertaining to equatorial electro-dynamics, the global coupling processes in the Ionosphere-Thermosphere-Magnetosphere systems and for his pioneering efforts in the development of ground based and space borne experiments and above all for his relentless efforts to promote space sciences in developing countries, ISRO and COSPAR are very pleased to present the Vikram Sarabhai Award to Dr. Mangalathayil Ali Abdu for the year 2008.

The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Scientific Assembly on the occasion of its 50th anniversary awarded the ISRO Vikram Sarabhai Medal to Dr. Mangalathayil Ali Abdu on July 14, 2008.
Vikram Sarabhai Medal (a joint award of COSPAR and the Indian Space Research Organization) honoring Vikram Sarabhai, one of the architects of modern India, is awarded for outstanding contributions to space research in developing countries.

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