Prof. Archana Bhattacharyya obtained M.Sc. degree (Physics) in 1969 from the University of Delhi in 1969 holding a National Science Talent Scholarship. She received a Ph.D. degree in Physics from Northwestern University (1975), working in the area of theoretical condensed matter Physics.
She joined the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) in 1978. During 1986-87, she worked with the group of Prof. K.C. Yeh at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She was a Senior NRC Resident Research Associate during 1998-2000 at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Massachusetts USA. She became the Director of IIG in 2005 and served till 2010. During her tenure as Director, a new regional centre of IIG, namely the Dr. K.S. Krishnan Geomagnetic Research Laboratory at Allahabad started functioning with experimental facilities for upper atmospheric as well as palaeomagnetic research. Currently, she is INSA Senior Scientist at IIG.
At IIG, Prof. Bhattacharyya embarked on a study of ionospheric irregularities produced by plasma instabilities in earth's ionosphere and scattering of radio waves by ionospheric irregularities. She had developed models for strong scintillations due to thick ionospheric irregularity layer and to delineate phase scintillations from TEC fluctuations in GPS data. She has also developed methods to identify fresh plasma bubbles generated in the equatorial ionosphere due to magnetic storms using spaced receiver measurements of ionospheric scintillations. She has proposed a theory for development of equatorial plasma bubble (EPB) by an electromagnetic Rayleigh-Taylor instability. She has provided the first evidence from scintillation observations that the EPB is more structured on the topside of the equatorial F region than near its peak, which has implications for prediction of L-band scintillations.
Prof. Bhattacharyya has served as the Chairperson of the Interdivisional Commission for Developing Countries in the International Association for Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) during 2007-2011. She has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics (American Geophysical Union), Pramana, and the Indian Journal of Radio & Space Physics. Prof. Bhattacharyya was awarded the Dr. K.S. Krishnan Gold Medal by the University of Delhi (1969). She has been conferred the Professor K.R. Ramanathan Memorial Lecture and Medal by the Indian Geophysical Union (2008). She is a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy; Indian Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Sciences (India) and Indian Geophysical Union.