Tuesday, 12 July 2011

EISCAT_3D Science Case: Comments Please!

It is part of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project to define the EISCAT_3D Science Case. This means that we need to detail the scientific objective for building the EISCAT_3D incoherent scatter radar as a new research infrastructure for studies of the upper atmosphere and near-Earth space, to be based in Northern Fenno-Scandinavia.

At the end of June 2011, Work Package 3 "Science Planning and User Engagement" has prepared and released the first version of the Science Case document.

EISCAT_3D will be located within the auroral zone, which is formed as a result of the coupling between the solar wind, magnetosphere and the ionosphere-atmosphere system. At the same time, it will be located at the equatorward edge of the polar vortex, a region in which the circulation of the middle atmosphere isolates the polar air from that at lower latitudes. The different altitude and latitude regions are coupled in a complex way, in which energy is transported, converted from one form to another and dissipated in various parts of the system. The energy originates from the Sun and the science of Solar-Terrestrial Physics (STP) is concerned with understanding all aspects of the relationship between the Sun, near- Earth space and the atmosphere. At present, we are far from understanding even the basic coupling processes, which could help us, e.g., to separate the effects of natural and man-made variability in long-term global change.

EISCAT_3D will offer us observations from many of the key regions to understand these processes. The science case presents the scientific rationale for the new radar under five headings as follows:
  1. Atmospheric science and climate change,
  2. Space and Plasma Physics,
  3. Solar System Science,
  4. Space Weather and Space Debris and
  5. Development of new techniques for radar experiments, coding and analysis.
Please download the EISCAT_3D Science Case document and, most importantly, contribute to the discussion by commenting on the document. You can meet us, e.g., at the upcoming International Incoherent Scatter Radar Workshop, Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, 18th-23rd July 2011, and the 15th International EISCAT Workshop, Qingdao, China, 5th-9th September 2011.

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