Robert P. Loughman

Office: Phenix 119
Phone: 757-727-5137


Department Chair and Associate Professor


Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, 1998

Professional Experience and Research

Dr. Loughman received his Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary in 1993 (Physics major, Mathematics minor). He then attended the University of Arizona, receiving M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science in 1995 and 1998, respectively. After being a post-doctoral Research Associate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, he joined the faculty at Hampton University, where he is currently Chairman and Associate Professor of the Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

Teaching Experience: Developed undergraduate and graduate courses in Atmospheric Physics, as well as graduate courses in Atmospheric Radiative Transfer and Atmospheric Measurements.

Research Interests: Improving our ability to understand the Earth-atmosphere system through analysis of remote sensing data is my primary research goal. This work has several aspects, including

– Developing new tools for modeling radiative transfer more efficiently and accurately

– Extending knowledge of the underlying physics of the Earth-atmosphere system to identify promising measurement strategies

– Developing rigorous methods to forecast the expected performance of various retrieval systems (and to assess their actual performance using measured data).

More specifically, retrieval of aerosol properties and ozone concentration from measurements of the solar radiation scattered by the limb of the atmosphere has been my primary research focus. Several past and present space-borne limb scattering sensors have contributed to this research, including SOLSE/LORE, SAGE III (Meteor-3M), OSIRIS, SCIAMACHY, and particularly the OMPS Limb Profiler. Reconciling remote sensing measurements of aerosol properties with in-situ measurements is a particular area of emphasis.

Recent Publications (2020-present)

  1. Taha, G., R. Loughman, P. Colarco, T. Zhu, L. Thomason, and G. Jaross: Tracking the 2022 Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai aerosol cloud in the upper and middle stratosphere using space-based observations, submitted to Geophys. Res. Letters, 2022.
  2. Zawada, D., Franssens, G., Loughman, R., Mikkonen, A., Rozanov, A., Emde, C., Bourassa, A., Dueck, S., Lindqvist, H., Ramon, D., Rozanov, V., Dekemper, E., Kyrola, E., Burrows, J.P., Fussen, D. and Degenstein, D.: Systematic comparison of vectorial spherical radiative transfer models in limb scattering geometry, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 3953–3972,, 2021.
  3. Stamnes, S., R. Baize, P. Bontempi, B. Cairns, E. Chemyakin, Y.-J. Choi, J. Chowdhary, Y. Hu, M. Jeong, K.-I. Kang, S.S. Kim, X. Liu, R. Loughman, D. MacDonnell, M.P. McCormick, B. Moon, A. Omar, C.M. Roithmayr, C.K. Sim, W. Sun, B. van Diedenhoven, G. Videen, and A. Wasilewski: Simultaneous Aerosol and Ocean Properties From the PolCube CubeSat Polarimeter, Frontiers in Remote Sensing, doi: 10.3389/frsen.2021.709040, 2021.
  4. Zubko, E., K. Shmirko, A. Pavlov, W. Sun, G.L. Schuster, Y. Hu, S. Stamnes, A. Omar, R.R. Baize, M.P. McCormick, R. Loughman, J.A. Arnold, and G. Videen: Active remote sensing of atmospheric dust using relationships between their depolarization ratios and reflectivity, Optics Letters,, 2021.
  5. Taha, G., Loughman, R., Zhu, T., Thomason, L., Kar, J., Rieger, L., and Bourassa, A.: OMPS LP Version 2.0 Multi-wavelength Aerosol Extinction Coefficient Retrieval Algorithm, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, 2020.
  6. Chen, Z., Bhartia, P. K., Torres, O., Jaross, G., Loughman, R., DeLand, M., Colarco, P., Damadeo, R. and Taha, G., 2020.  Evaluation of the OMPS/LP stratospheric aerosol extinction product using SAGE III/ISS observations, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 3471-3485,
  7. Nyaku, E., Loughman, R., Bhartia, P.K., Deshler, T., Chen, Z., and Colarco, P.R., 2020. A comparison of lognormal and gamma size distributions for characterizing the stratospheric aerosol phase function from optical particle counter measurements. Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 1071–1087,