Learn More About SuperDARN Today At FHSU

SuperDARN:

A Facility for Remote Sensing the Earth’s Ionosphere with Ground-based Radar

presented by

Simon Shepherd, Dartmouth College

Wednesday, Sept. 16th, 3:30-4:30 PM

Tomanek Hall 108

Presentation Abstract: “The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an array of ground-based HF Doppler radars located in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Each radar is designed to measure the horizontal motion of the plasma in the polar ionosphere. Together, they make a system capable of imaging plasma convection over large spatial scales and on minute timescales. Through international cooperation, the result is a facility that provides an unprecedented view of plasma motion in the Earth’s ionospheres. Data from SuperDARN are used in numerous studies aimed at understanding processes that govern the dynamical interactions between regions in the near-Earth space-plasma environment — the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere.

In this talk I will describe some basics of space plasmas and regions of the near-Earth space environment, and explain the technique used for remote sensing plasma motion in the ionosphere using ground-based HF radar. In addition, I will describe a new project that will expand the existing SuperDARN network equatorward to middle geomagnetic latitudes — including two radars that are under construction at Fort Hays State University.

These new radars will be part of mid-latitude array that extends coverage of the network from Eastern Asia, across the U.S., and into Europe, and from 50 degrees geomagnetic latitude to the north pole. Measurements of plasma motion at these latitudes are essential in understanding the complex nature of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling at the boundary between co-rotating and sunward convecting plasma, during times that are geomagnetically quiet and during large geomagnetic storms.

There are numerous opportunities for student involvement in all aspects of this project. More information about the SuperDARN radars can be found at: http://superdarn.jhuapl.edu.

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