The primary scientific goals are studies the interaction between the Sun and the Earth as revealed by disturbances in the magnetosphere and the ionised parts of the atmosphere (these interactions also give rise to the spectacular aurora, or Northern Lights). The radars are operated in both Common and Special Programme modes, depending on the particular research objective, and Special Programme time is accounted and distributed between the Associates according to rules which are published from time to time.
Main tasks: EISCAT will facilitate the coordination of its atmospheric radar data products with those of the US partners at various levels from the lowest level raw data (as raw data samples, ideally as voltage-level data) to the highest level validated and derived data products in order to increase the involvement of potential scientific user communities. In order to achieve interoperability EISCAT and the US partner will negotiate shared data structures, practices and standards that are consistent with those of other environmental research infrastructures. They will construct and maintain both short and long-term roadmaps to organize future efforts of atmospheric radar facilities and to invent practices that are consistent and support the aims of the EU and NSF relevant programs. The potential US counterpart institutions MIT Haystack Observatory, USA (MIT), Cornell University and SRI International, Menlo Park, Ca, USA (SRI) are running the major US atmospheric incoherent scatter radars. The European partner institution STFC: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK (STFC) is a major user of atmospheric incoherent scatter radars and strongly involved in European space weather activities.
Brief description: The EISCAT Scientific Association is an international research organisation operating three incoherent scatter radar systems, in Northern Scandinavia. It is funded and operated by research councils of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Japan, China, the United Kingdom and Germany (the latter until the end of 2011). Within the EISCAT 3D project EISCAT will build the next generation incoherent scatter radar, which will consist of multiple phased arrays and will provide comprehensive 3D monitoring of the atmosphere and ionosphere above Northern Fenno-Scandinavia. EISCAT 3D is an ESFRI Roadmap project.
The Mission of the Haystack is to study the structure of our galaxy and the lager universe, to advance the scientific knowledge of our planet and its atmosphere, to develop technology for radio science applications and to contribute to the education of future scientists and engineers.
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The Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMIS) is a phased-array incoherent scatter radar (ISR) system for atmospheric research. There are currently six incoherent scatter radars, including two AMISR systems, operating in the American sector, with four being managed for the NSF by SRI International (SRI). This community is also supported by an NSF-funded Integrated Facilities Office (InFO) at SRI.
SRI is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit research institute based in Menlo Park, California. SRI conducts client-sponsored research and development for government, industry, foundations, and other organizations. Through the Center for Geospace Studies, SRI scientists examine the fundamental processes governing the upper atmosphere and space. Through cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Center operates, manages, and conducts research at the Sondrestrom Research Facility in Greenland, at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and with AMISR systems at Poker Flat in Alaska and at Resolute Bay in northern Canada. The Center is also constructing further AMISR systems at Resolute Bay, Canada, in Argentina, and other locations.
The US and global ISR communities work towards the COOPEUS goals of collaboration and interoperability through the International Union of Radio Scientists (URSI) Incoherent Scatter Working Group (ISWG). The ISWG is responsible for creating a World Calendar of ISR operations and programs which accounts for about 50% of the operating hours.
The US ISRs, together with EISCAT, store, archive, and distribute their processed data through a shared, distributed database (Madrigal, developed and supported with NSF funding by the Millstone Hill Radar group) and contribute to the large NSF Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) program. The COOPEUS objectives are very well aligned with CEDAR’s strategic vision report calling for the development of novel global and system science approaches for the future of atmospheric science.
While AMISR, EISCAT_3D, and the other ISRs employ different user and hardware interfaces, appropriate to each individual radar, there is considerable activity to collaborate and develop the use of novel pulse coding techniques, to provide improved range, time, and spectral resolution, and interoperability. We expect the benefits of these activities within the larger COOPEUS program to include seminal developments in data use and exchange across disparate communities coupled by the need to understand global geospace system science and the need to predict and mitigate climatic changes in mankind’s environment.
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