Krishnaswamy Krishnamoorthy obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Physics from the University of Kerala and subsequently joined the Space Physics Division of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (1973). There he did research on equatorial ionospheric scintillations, using the phase coherent multi-frequency beacon transmissions from the ATS-6 satellite under the SITE programme. The research work carried out under the supervision of Dr BV Krishna Murthy fetched him PhD degree from the University of Kerala in 1986. Subsequently, Dr Krishnamoorthy took up investigations of atmospheric aerosols characteristics, microphysics, long-range transport and regional climate forcing. In this endeavour he was associated with several national programs such as the Indian Middle Atmosphere Programme, the ISRO- Geosphere Biosphere Program, the Indoex-India programme, and the Indian Climate Research Programme. He has been instrumental in setting up a national network of 35 aerosol observatories spanning the Indian landmass, from Thiruvananthapuram to Hanle, and Naliya to Dibrugarh and and islands Minicoy in the Arabian Sea and Port Blair in the Bay of Bengal, under the project Aerosol Radiative Forcing over India (ARFI) and became its Project Director. He also conceived and executed, leading from the front, the national multi-institutional field experiment, ICARB, the biggest field experiment ever conducted for atmospheric studies, using network observatories, research ship over the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, covering > 4 million sq. km of oceanic area, and instrumented aircraft under the Integrated Campaign for Aerosols, gases and Radiation Budget (ICARB), for which also he was the project director.
In 2010, he became the Director of the Space Physics Laboratory of ISRO. Since then Dr Krishnamoorthy has strived to strengthern and diversify the space and atmospheric research components of SPL. Under his leadership, SPL has realized the MENCA (Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser) payload and successfully flew it aboard the first Indian Mars Orbiter Mission in November 2013. the payload is healthy and is poised for its entry to the Martian atmosphere in September 2014. Under his leadership, three payloads of SPL - CHACE-2 (Chandra's Atmospheric Composition Explorer) for the lunar orbiter and ChaSTE (Chandra's Surface Thermosphysical Experiment) & RAMBHA (Radio Anatomy of Moon-Bound Hyspersensitive Atmosphere and ionosphere) are approved for the forthcoming Chandrayaan - 2 mission. These are under different stages of development. A Plasma Analyser Package for Aditaya (PAPA) payload is approved and is under development for the Aditya-L1 mission, to investigate the solar wind electrons and ions from the L1 point. He has initiated an integrated multi-disciplinary polar research into the laboratory's programs.
Academic and Research Achievements: Krishnamoorthy was involved in the indigenous development of the receivers system and used it to collect scintillation data from HF to SHF. He started his research on atmospheric aerosols, in line with the new national focus on atmospheric sciences, during the Indian Middle Atmosphere Programme (IMAP). He conceived, designed and developed a 10-channel multi wavelength radiometer (MWR) for spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements. This indigenous instrument has now become the backbone of the aerosol network observatories in India. Krishnamoorthy has made fundamental contributions to the scientific knowledge of the role of natural and anthropogenic aerosols in modulating the climate of South Asia. He showed, for the first time, that sea-salt produced in the Arabian Sea during high winds has an impact on the surface radiation budget. This indicates the possibility of positive feedback between natural aerosols, sea surface winds and sea surface temperature. His work highlighted, for the first time, the need to consider both natural aerosols (e.g., salt and dust) and anthropogenic aerosols (e.g., soot) for estimating the impact of aerosol on climate. His efforts resulted in a unique and long database on aerosols from Minicoy and Port Blair islands. In a first-ever regional synthesis of long-term primary data on aerosols, he has synthesized the spectral AOD data since 1985 obtained from the ARFINET observatories and quantified the long-term trends in aerosol loading @2.3% per year of the value at 1985. This is first such effort over this region. He also has quantified the radiative effects of BC deposition on galciers, as well as the effect of scattering between species in a compositve aerosol, on the speciated aerosol radiatve forcing. His efforts with the performance evaluation global chemcial transport models with the network data has brought out the inadequacies in the models in terms of emission inventories and parametrising the atmospheric boundary layer processes pertinent to Asian region. His work on Himalayan aerosols and the aerosol life cycle are the first of their kind in India. He has more than 220 publications in peer reviewed SCI journals . His papers are well cited, several of them more than 100 times. His cumulative citation exceeds 5100 and his H index is 40. He has supervised and guided 10 scholars to their Ph D degree. He is a member the Editorial boards of several journals in the atmospheric and space science areas.
Other Contributions: Dr Krishnamoorthy has immensely contributed to the scientific capacity building over the entire country in aerosol and radiation research. He pioneered several field campaigns, aiming at building strong scientific teams. He very actively participated in the INDOEX-India cruises and also set up an MWR at Mauritius, a first time attempt from India. He was also the integral part of the ARMEX field campaigns under the Indian Climate Research Programme of DST and subsequently the member of the scientific steering committee of the CTCZ programme. As the Project Director of the Integrated Campaign for aerosols, gases, and radiation budget (ICARB) experiment under ISRO-GBP, Krishnamoorthy pioneered the use of aircraft to obtain the vertical profile of aerosols in the Indian subcontinent. He is also member of the Project Advisory and Monitoring Committees of MoES
Has been a member of the Sectional Committee IV, INSA
He is currently the Chairman of the (ICSU) National Committee for Future Earth
Awards and Honours:
Received the First PRL award in 1997
Elected as Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (2005) and the National Academy of Sciences, India, Allahabad (2009).
Awarded the Kalpathy Ramakrishnan Ramanathan Medal of INSA in 2011
Received the ASI-ISRO award for outstanding contributions in space sciences, 2013
National Award for Atmospheric Science and Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, 2017