Vishaal Singh

My research focuses on the characterization of dynamic ice shells, using experimental spectroscopy, ice mechanics, radiative transfer modeling, and instrument development. I aim to identify the limits of our diagnostic capabilities - to improve our understanding of the surface physics and chemistry of ocean worlds, asteroids & comets.

In other words, I break (and build) things in the lab to establish how they work beyond Earth.

Fields of Interest

  • Cryogenic Spectroscopy of ice-mineral analogs of Europa, Enceladus, and other Icy Worlds: estimate optical, spectral & mechanical properties of icy surfaces to constrain crystallinity, composition, and age; identify sites of “fresh” oceanic material for target site selection
  • Design, build and test a robust communication tether prototype for ocean world exploration: laboratory mechanical & optical transmission characterization to improve TRL to 5; analyses using cryogenic fault shearing, composition, and freeze-in tests
  • Ice Fracture origination and propogation in icy ocean worlds: estimate mechanics for formation of lineament vs cycloids on Europa using laboratory cryogenic tests


  • Ph.D. in Geological Sciences, Arizona State University, 05/2021 (Dissertation: On Thin Ice: Experimental Spectroscopy and Ice Mechanics in Support of Ocean World Exploration)
  • B.Sc. (honors) - M.Sc. in Applied Geology, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, 07/2011 (Dissertation: Investigations on the low ENA albedo regions on the Moon and their association with lunar surface properties)

Honors & Awards

  • NASA JPL Visiting Student Research Program, USA (2017-2021)
  • ASU Summer Exploration Graduate (SEG) Fellow, USA (2017)
  • Government of India DST INSPIRE Fellowship, IND (2013)
  • Science Academies of India Summer Research Fellowship, IND (2013)