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, 07/2016 (Dissertation: Investigations on the low ENA albedo regions on the Moon and their association with lunar surface properties)

Honors & Awards

V. Singh, C. McCarthy, M. Silvia, M.V. Jakuba, K.L. Craft, A.R. Rhoden, C.R. German, and T.A. Koczynski. Surviving in Ocean Worlds: Experimental Characterization of Fiber Optic Tethers Across Europa-Like Ice Faults and Unraveling the Sliding Behavior of Ice, PSJ (In Press)

V. Singh, J. Berdis, M. S. Gudipati, A. R. Rhoden, B. L. Henderson. What lies on Europa’s Surface? – (I) Limitations of using the 1.65/1.5 μm band as an indicator of surface crystallinity due to evolution with thermal history of the ice. (In preparation – draft available on request)

V. Singh, 2021. On Thin Ice: Experimental spectroscopy and ice mechanics in support of ocean world exploration (PhD Thesis). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (2531556780).

B. Schmidt, K. Craft, T. Cwik, K. Zacny, M. Smith, V. Singh, … Spears, A. (2021). Dive, Dive, Dive: Accessing the Subsurface of Ocean Worlds. Bulletin of the AAS, 53(4).