Anil Bhardwaj received his B.Sc. (1985) and M.Sc. (1987) in Physics from Lucknow University. He did Ph.D. (1992) in Physics (Planetary and Space Science) from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University. He joined the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 1993 as a scientist at the Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Trivandrum. He became Head of the newly started Planetary Science Division in the SPL in 2007. In 2014 he became the Director of the Space Physics Laboratory of the VSSC in Trivandrum. Since February 2017 he is the Director of Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. He has worked at NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre, USA, during 2004-2005, as NRC-NAS Senior Research Associate.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr. Bhardwaj is a planetary mission experimenter, a multi-spectral (X-ray, ultraviolet, visible, radio wavelengths) observational researcher, and a theoretical modeller. His research activities are in areas of planetary atmospheres, ionospheres, and surfaces and their interaction and coupling with solar radiation, solar wind, and planetary magnetospheres. He has been the Principal Investigator (PI) of SARA (Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer) experiment on the first Indian Lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, which has revolutionized our understanding on the interaction of solar wind with the Moon through several new findings and discoveries. He is the PI of MENCA (Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer) experiment on the Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), and of the CHACE-2 (Chandra’s Atmospheric Composition Explorer) experiment on Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter mission. As the Director of SPL, he supervised the development of the ChaSTE (Chandra’s Surface Thermal Experiment) and RAMBHA experiments on the Chandrayaan-2 Lander mission, as well as the PAPA (Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya) experiment on the Aditya-L1 mission. He has also made several landmark contributions in the field of Solar System X-rays, including discovery of X-rays from the rings of Saturn, X-ray flares from Jupiter and Saturn, pulsating auroral X-ray hot-spot on Jupiter, and X-rays from Mars’ exosphere. He conducted the first GMRT observation of radio emission from Jupiter. His research findings have led to seven Press Releases by NASA, two Press Releases by European Space Agency, and three 'Story of the Week' by ISRO. He has over 130 refereed publications and seven chapters in books including Chapter in the “Encyclopedia of the Solar System”, and has edited 6 books. His research articles have made the cove page of American and European journals. He has supervised six Ph.D. and is currently guiding a few research students.
Other Contributions: He initiated the research in planetary sciences at SPL and has contributed to the development of planetary science activities and planning of planetary missions in India. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Geosciences (Planetary Science volumes) during 2005-2011, and has been on Editorial Board of Planetary and Space Science (Elsevier), Space Science Reviews (Springer), and Bulletin of Astronomical Society of India, and is the Associate editor of Advances in Space Research (Elsevier). He is a member of several ISRO, national and international committees on planetary and space sciences. He has delivered more than 80 public lectures at colleges, institutes, universities and schools.
Awards and Honours: Dr. Bhardwaj has received many awards and honours, including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2007), Fellowship grant from the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (1996), Nehru Centenary Lecture of Kerala Academy of Sciences (2007), ISRO Team Achievement Award for the Chandrayaan-1 (2008), Indo-Swedish Project Award from Swedish Research Council (2010), Indo-Swiss Joint Research Programme (ISJRP) Fellowship (2010), ISRO Merit Award (2012), AOGS Planetary Science Distinguish Lecture, Japan (2014), Dr. P. R. Pisharoty Memorial Lecture of the Kerala Science Congress (2015), Distinguished Alumnus Award (2015) from Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), INSA-Vainu Bappu Memorial (International) Award (2016) and the Infosys Prize. ISRO honored him with the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017.
Dr. Bhardwaj is an elected Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (2010), Indian Academy of Sciences (2009), National Academy of Sciences India (2014), as well as of Kerala Academy of Sciences, and Indian Geophysical Union. He is also an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics and International Astronomical Union. He was elected President of Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) Planetary Science for 2006-2010 and is currently the Vice-Chair of COSPAR Commission B.