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Use of EISCAT 3D for Space Weather

Introduction

EISCAT_3D will be the next generation incoherent scatter radar facility designed to study the Earth’s atmosphere and near-Earth space environment in the Arctic Fenno-Scandinavia. In the first stage, the radar will consist of three phased array antenna fields with a core site in Skibotn in northern Norway, and additional receivers in northern Finland and Sweden. The core site will transmit radio waves at a frequency of 233 MHz and will also have receivers. The radar system will be operated by the EISCAT Scientific Association, which has long experience in operating radar systems in the Scandinavian Arctic.

EISCAT_3D will use state-of-the-art technology and combine several measurement techniques that have never been used together in a single radar system before: volumetric imaging, aperture synthesis imaging, multi-static imaging, a greatly improved sensitivity and transmitter flexibility compared to the current system.

Study objectives

The main objective of this project is to assess how foreseen EISCAT_3D measurement data can be utilized within the context of SWE Service Network to enhance existing space weather data products and services and to potentially develop new products.

Tasks

The project consists of four main tasks:

  1. Analysis of SWE Service Network requirements baseline to identify what requirements can be potentially addressed by EISCAT_3D.
  2. Demonstration of Product Concepts.
  3. Consolidation of product concepts based on consultation of ESCs and end-users.
  4. Development of a roadmap for the way forward regarding the utilisation of the EISCAT_3D products in the ESA SWE Service Network.

Study team

The study is conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Bergen. The project includes feedback from the heliospheric weather, ionospheric weather and geomagnetic conditions expert service centres and end-users. In addition, the EISCAT Scientific Association is in the loop to keep the study team informed on the development stage of EISCAT_3D, the planning of EISCAT_3D measurement modes and constraints and possibilities with respect to use of EISCAT_3D data in a space weather context.

Figure 1 Illustration of EISCAT 3D Phased-Arrays Figure 1: Illustration of EISCAT 3D Phased-Arrays
Illustration: NIPR
Figure 2 installation progress of the 109 antenna units at the EISCAT 3D site in Skibotn, Norway in January 2023 Figure 2: Installation progress of the 109 antenna units at the EISCAT 3D site in Skibotn, Norway in January 2023
Photo: EISCAT Scientific Association
Figure 3 EISCAT 3D test array in Tromsø. Figure 3: EISCAT 3D test array in Tromsø.
Photo: Craig Heinselman
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