Friday, 30 March 2012

EISCAT SOC is meeting in Tromsø, Norway

Currently, the EISCAT Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC) is meeting in Tromsø, Norway, hosted by Cesar La Hoz of the University of Tromsø. The meeting began on 29th March in the morning, and it will end by lunch today, 30th March 2012.

Of the many topics discussed in this meeting, the most prominent are:

  • The next International EISCAT Symposium will be held at Lancaster, UK, 12th-16th August 2013. Note that the name was changed from "workshop" to "symposium" in order to reflect the nature of the meeting better and to set it apart from the NSF AMISR Workshops, which, in fact, are radar schools.
  • The next International EISCAT Radar School will take place in Sodankylä, Finland, 26th August to 1st September 2012. The announcement will be published shortly.
  • Swedish Delegate Stephan Buchert, who is organising the EISCAT_3D User Meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 23rd - 25th May 2012, pointed out that it is time to reserve accommodation in Uppsala soon, because hotels are often sold out very early in Uppsala. See also the announcement and the web site.
  • The deadline for submitting proposals for the EISCAT Peer-Review Programme is on 1st May 2012 (see here). Everyone, can submit proposals for using EISCAT radar time under this scheme, and we especially invite proposals from young scientists and non-EISCAT associate countries. However, also scientists from EISCAT associate countries are welcome to apply.
Participants in the SOC meetings (from left in the photo) are Wu Jun, Yasunobu Ogawa, Mike Rietveld, Erhan Kudeki, Mike Kosch, Cesar La Hoz, Ingemar Häggström, Thomas Ulich, Ingrid Mann, Alexander Koloskov, Stephan Buchert, Esa Turunen. Also present in yesterday's session were Asgeir Brekke, Unni-Pia Løvhaug, Tom Grydeland, and Magnar Johnson.

With best regards from Tromsø, we wish all of you a very good weekend!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Chapman Conference on Longitude and Hemispheric Dependence of Space Weather, Addis Ababa

The International AGU Chapman Conference on "Longitude and Hemispheric Dependence of Space Weather" will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 12th to 16th November 2012. The conference will focus on two overarching themes:

A) How does the ionospheric response to major solar events depend on hemisphere and longitude; and

B) Expand the study of space weather to include day-to-day ionospheric variability, i.e., to those times when solar and geomagnetic activities are moderate and forcing from the lower atmosphere drives a lot of the variability.

The latter will include examining the cause of longitude and hemispheric dependence in total electron content (TEC) and occurrence of plasma density irregularities.

The conference will include six main science topics
  1. Hemispherical Dependence of Magnetospheric Energy Injection,
  2. Longitude and Hemispheric Dependence of Storm-Enhanced Densities (SED),
  3. Response to New Time-History of Solar Flares,
  4. Quiet-Time Longitude Spatial Structure,
  5. Temporal Response to the Lower-Atmosphere Disturbances, and
  6. Climatology of TEC and Scintillation in Different Longitude Sectors.

Further information will be available shortly.

Abstract deadline will be 12th July 2012.

Tim Fuller-Rowell (tim.fuller-rowell -at-, Patricia Doherty (patricia.doherty -at-, and Endawoke Yizengaw (endawoke.kassie -a-

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Resource: The "Cargèse Book" on-line

Today we want to draw your attention to an old publication, which is probably unknown to many, but very useful especially for those of you new to incoherent scatter radar experiments.

The EISCAT Technical Report 97/53: "Incoherent Scatter Theory, Practice and Science," is a collection of lectures given in Cargèse, Corsica, France in autumn 1995 before the 7th EISCAT Workshop at the same location. Denis Alcaydé served as the editor of this book, which was first published in print in 1997, and appeared in electronic form in 2001.

From the editorial: "This book is intended for use by graduate students for entering the field of Incoherent Scatter Research; it is felt however (and also hoped) that the various chapters of this book can be of some interest for more senior scientists. The book organisation is such that one can find at the beginning the main theoretical aspects of the Incoherent Scattering, followed by practical considerations on signal modulation, echoes and data analysis, and then scientific application aspects:
  • The first two chapters deal with the theoretical descriptions of scattering of plasma waves by the ionospheric plasma; Chapter one (Tor Hagfors) describes the "classical" Incoherent Scattering, while Chapter two (Wlodek Kofman) introduces the non thermal and instabilities effects.
  • In Chapter three (Asko Huuskonen and Markku Lehtinen) are introduced the basics of the modulation of the radio waves for pulsed radars. Once ionospheric echoes are received, some analysis can be made which lies upon some basic physics described in Chapter four (Kristian Schlegel).
  • The Solar Wind Magnetosphere interaction, Auroras and their ionospheric effects, Thermospheric Physics and the contributions made (or foreseen) by the Incoherent Scatter Observations are described in the following three Chapters (Chapter five, Mike Lockwood; Chapter six, Yoshuke Kamide and Chapter seven, Arthur Richmond, respectively).
  • The final Chapter (Chapter eight, Jürgen Röttger) deals with the theory, technique and science achieved with atmospheric backscatter and reflection processes of radio waves."
Most aspects of this book remain very much current, and you can download this valuable resource from the EISCAT web server. Note also, that many other EISCAT Technical Reports, so-called "Blue Books," are on-line, too.

Image: Cover of the EISCAT Technical Report 97/53, "Incoherent Scatter Theory, Practice and Science." The image shows a "incoherent scatter spectra computed with a typical EISCAT observation of the ionosphere in the ≈120-500 km altitude range. The spectral shape varies with the altitude as function of the observed electron temperature and of the ion temperature and composition. The spectral power is scaled to the electron density and the spectra are plotted along a line shape representing the altitude profile of the electron density."

Friday, 23 March 2012

An interesting week in Germany

This past week, the 13th Workshop on Technical and Scientific Aspects of MST Radar (MST-13) workshop took place in Kühlungsborn, Germany, at the coast of the Baltic Sea (19-23 March 2012). We heard news about all kinds of atmospheric radar, from wind profilers, meteor radars, MST radars, and also from incoherent scatter radars (Jicamarca, EISCAT). There's great interest in closer exchange between the atmospheric and ionospheric radar communities.

With this photo from the beach just outside the meeting venue, taken this morning, we wish all of you a nice weekend.

Photo: Thomas Ulich.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Vacancy: PhD Research Fellowship in Space Physics, Oslo, Norway

A position as a PhD student is available at the Department of Physics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. The position, with a starting date of 1st October 2012, is for four years.

The announced position is associated with the group of plasma- and space physics and their STAR-initiative ("Space Technology And Research development centre"). STAR is a strategic initiative by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo. The main aim of STAR is to achieve full scale integrated collaboration between space plasma experimentalists, theoreticians and numerical specialists in order to implement the next generation instruments.

The research area for the vacant position will be investigation of space plasmas by in-situ measurement techniques. STAR is in charge of the Investigation of Cusp Irregularities (ICI) sounding rocket program, with a world leading instrument package, specially designed to explore plasma instability modes, plasma structuring, and turbulence in the auroral cusp ionosphere and within polar cap patches. ICI is a basic research project with space weather applications for the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and communication services in the polar cap. Two successful rocket flights are in record and the third rocket will be launched from Svalbard in winter 2013/14. Ground- based radar, optical and GPS observations are used to frame the larger scale context of the micro-scale measurements.

Candidates need to hold a PhD or have completed their PhD by 30th June 2012.

Deadline for application is 15th April 2012. (This call is now closed.)

For more information, please refer to the job announcement by the University of Oslo.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Call for Papers: Inverse Problems Africa 2012, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

The registration is now open for Inverse Problems Africa (IPA2012) in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, in October 2012. The event, which will have a strong emphasis on incoherent scatter radars and EISCAT_3D techniques, will include an inverse problems school (15th to 20th October 2012) and a conference (22nd to 26th October 2012).

The lecturers for the school thus far are
  1. Markku Lehtinen, University of Oulu, Finland — Statistical Inversion and Incoherent Scatter Radar
  2. Heikki Haario, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland — Epidemiology Models and MarkovChain Monte Carlo Methods
  3. Wilson Mahera, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — Stochastic Differential Equations and their Applications to Pollutant Dispersion in Shallow Waters
  4. Mikko Orispää, University of Oulu, Finland — Tomographic Imaging
The conference will cover, among others, the following topics:
  1. Statistical and Classical Inversion
  2. Numerical Methods and Software
  3. Partial Differential Equations and Stochastic Differential Equations
  4. Mathematical Finance and Insurance
  5. Applications: Radar, Tomography, Imaging, Epidemiology
The conference will be organised as thematic days. Every day will be opened by a keynote speech by an internationally known expert.
  • Monday — Matti Lassas, University of Helsinki, Finland — Thematic day in statistical and classical inversion
  • Tuesday — Endawoke Yizengaw, Boston College, United States — Thematic day in incoherent scatter radars
  • Wednesday — Daniela Calvetti, Case Western Reserve University, United States — Thematic day in differential equations
  • Thursday — Joseph Mugisha, Makerere University, Uganda — Thematic day in epidemiology, MCMC methods
  • Friday — Baylie Damtie, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia — Conclusion of the conference, planning of future activities
More information at

Abstract submission deadline is 30th May 2012, on-line registration deadline is 30th September 2012.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Science Tuesday: Recent Papers in Space Science

Tuesday is the science day on the EISCAT_3D blog. For the science feature, you can submit your research to the blog with an image, photo, or graph, and a short text explaining the study and the key result. We will then publish your work here. For the time being, please send any input to the blog's editor Thomas Ulich (thu -at- sgo -dot- fi). Thanks!

Today we would like to draw your attention to the following, recent publications:
  1. Comparative studies of methods of obtaining AGW's propagation properties, by H. Y. Lue and F. S. Kuo, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 557-570, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-557
  2. Global characteristics of the lunar tidal modulation of the equatorial electrojet derived from CHAMP observations, by H. Lühr, T. A. Siddiqui, and S. Maus, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 527-536, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-527,
  3. A plasma flow vortex in the magnetotail and its related ionospheric signatures, by C. L. Tang, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 537-544, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-537,
  4. Relation between current sheets and vortex sheets in stationary incompressible MHD, by D. H. Nickeler and T. Wiegelmann, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 545-555, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-545,
Source: Alert Service Subscriptions.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Call for Papers: Special Issue of SWSC on Security of Space Assets

With reference to the 8th European Space Weather Week held in Namur, Belgium, from 28th November to 2nd December 2011, we are pleased to invite all contributions, oral and poster, presented in Session 2 "Building the European SSA Space Weather Framework," to be submitted to the special issue: "First results from the EU-FP7 projects on Security of space assets from space weather events" in the Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate.

Deadline for submissions is 30 March 2012. However, if you need some additional time to complete your submission, please do not hesitate to contact the SWSC editorial office at swsc -at-

The type of contributions should fit the style of SWSC, which accepts regular research articles, short communications, invited reviews, technical and observational reports, strategic and educational articles and concise project reports. All manuscripts are peer reviewed according to the quality standards of international scientific journals. It is therefore required that all manuscripts submitted for publication in SWSC contain enough new insight; present the results against a properly referenced background of existing work; present adequate evidence that supports the conclusions; write clearly, concisely and comprehensively and include all necessary and appropriate figures and tables but not more.

Accepted papers are published in electronic form only and publication is free of charge.

The Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate (SWSC) is an international, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary open access journal, which publishes papers on all aspects of space weather and space climate. Guidelines for submission of papers are on the Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate web site under the menu item "Author information" (Instructions for authors).

From: Paola Chiarini, and Mats Ljungqvist, ESWW8 Session 2 conveners as well as Jean Lilensten and Anna Belehaki, EiC for SWSC.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Aurora above the EISCAT VHF Radar

Recently, on 7th March 2012, there were fantastic Northern Lights visible across large parts of Northern Europe. EISCAT Director Esa Turunen was out taking photos around the Tromsø EISCAT site and he took this great photo of the VHF radar and the aurora above it. The red glow under the clouds are city lights of Tromsø, which is located just behind the mountains.

With this Friday-photo, we wish all of you a very nice weekend!

Photo: Esa Turunen.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Science Tuesday: Recent Papers in Space Science

Tuesday is the science day on the EISCAT_3D blog. For the science feature, you can submit your research to the blog with an image, photo, or graph, and a short text explaining the study and the key result. We will then publish your work here. For the time being, please send any input to the blog's editor Thomas Ulich (thu -at- sgo -dot- fi). Thanks!

Today we would like to draw your attention to the following, recent publications:
  1. Secondary charging effects due to icy dust particle impacts on rocket payloads, by M. Kassa, M. Rapp, T. W. Hartquist, and O. Havnes, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 433-439, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-433,
  2. Overlapping ion structures in the mid-altitude cusp under northward IMF: signature of dual lobe reconnection?, by F. Pitout, C. P. Escoubet, M. G. G. T. Taylor, J. Berchem, and A. P. Walsh, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 489-501, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-489,
  3. Signatures of moving polar cap arcs in the F-region PolarDARN echoes, by A. V. Koustov, K. Hosokawa, N. Nishitani, K. Shiokawa, and H. Liu, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 441-455, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-441,
  4. Aspect sensitivity of polar mesosphere summer echoes based on ESRAD MST radar measurements in Kiruna, Sweden in 1997—2010, by M. Smirnova, E. Belova, and S. Kirkwood, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 457-465, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-457,
  5. Magnetopause energy transfer dependence on the interplanetary magnetic field and the Earth's magnetic dipole axis orientation, by M. Palmroth, R. C. Fear, and I. Honkonen, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 515-526, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-515,
  6. Electron cross talk and asymmetric electron distributions near the Earth's bowshock, by J. J. Mitchell, S. J. Schwartz, and U. Auster, ANGEO, 2012, Vol.30, pp. 503-513, SRef-ID: 1432-0576/angeo/2012-30-503,
Source: Alert Service Subscriptions.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Call for Papers: SuperDARN Workshop, Shanghai

The SuperDARN Workshop 2012 will be held at Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, China, from 27th May to 1st June 1 2012.

Topics of the workshop will include technical aspects and developments associated with the network of radars known as SuperDARN, and scientific contributions to the many fields related to the geospace environment. All members of the broader space science community, especially SuperDARN users, are welcome and encouraged to participate.

The pre-registration deadline is 22nd March 2012 at 1700 UTC.

Please visit the workshop's website at If you need a visa to enter China, please provide us your information in detail on the visa requirement page in the workshop website. All the information are available on the website, including the pre-registration, abstract submission, visa requirement, and accommodation, etc.

Questions related to the workshop should be directed to: uap -at-, or zhangqinghe -at-

Friday, 9 March 2012

Call for Papers: EISCAT_3D User Meeting 2012, Uppsala, Sweden

The 4th EISCAT_3D User Meeting will take place in Uppsala, Sweden, 23rd-25th May 2012. For more information please see the meeting web page at

Planned is this time a Wednesday (23rd May) with focus on space weather, while on Thursday and Friday pre-noon (24th-25th May) all science topics to be studied by EISCAT_3D are covered. The Space Weather component of the EISCAT_3D Science Case was recently discussed in a meeting in Rome, Italy.

The outline of the meeting's programme is still open to discussion until 2nd April 2012, please communicate any comments and suggestions to anyone of the programme committee, Anita Aikio (anita.aikio -at-, Ingrid Mann (ingrid.mann -at-, Ian McCrea (ian.mccrea -at-, and Esa Turunen (esa.turunen -at-

You can register for the meeting by e-mail to Stephan Buchert (scb -at-, the deadline for registration and abstracts is 27th April 2012.

Text and photo: Stephan Buchert, Uppsala, Sweden.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Fantastic Northern Lights across Lapland!

Last night, after an X-class solar flare, there appeared very beautiful northern lights across large parts of Scandinavia and Finland. The All-Sky Camera of the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, which is part of the University of Oulu, and a partner in the current EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase Study, have been recording these events all night.  The best 2 hours of auroral display have now been uploaded to YouTube for you to enjoy!

Watch the movie here!

Images by Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, colourisation and movie by Thomas Ulich.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Report: EISCAT_3D Science Working Group meeting in Rome

The EISCAT_3D Science Working Group met at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologica (INGV) in Rome on 12th and 13th January 2012. This was the first meeting of the group with the new membership for the second year of the study, focusing mainly on space weather. The members of the group for this year are: Anita Aikio (University of Oulu, Finland, co-chair); Ian McCrea (STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab, UK, co-chair); Lucilla Alfonsi (INGV, Italy); Herve Lamy (BIRA/BISA, Belgium); Frederic Pitout (Univ. Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France); Iwona Stanislawska, (Space Research Centre, Warsaw, Poland) and Juha Vierinen (Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Finland).

During the first day of the meeting, each member of the group gave a presentation about their work and their ideas for the science areas to be addressed by EISCAT_3D. After each talk, there was discussion of the issues raised, and their possible implications for the design and science goals of the new radar. In addition, some new studies which would be possible with the present EISCAT system were identified. On the second day, the meeting split into two groups. One group discussed how to revise the space weather section of the Science Case. The second group discussed changes that should be made to other sections of the document. The results of this meeting will be new sections of the Science Case, which will be presented at the EISCAT_3D User Meeting 2012, to be held in Uppsala from 22nd to 25th May 2012.

Text: Ian McCrea, U.K.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Call for Papers: AOGS2012: Space Weather and Space Climate, Singapore

The Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) will hold a Joint Assembly in Singapore, 13th to 17th August 2012. The conference will include session ST22 on

Space Weather and Space Climate: Coupling Processes from the Sun to the Earth

The Sun, its extended corona, the interplanetary space, the Earth's magnetosphere, ionosphere, middle and low atmosphere, are all parts of a complex system – the heliosphere. Various manifestations of solar activity cause disturbances known as space weather effects in the interplanetary space, near-Earth environment, and all the Earth's "spheres." Long-term variations in the frequency, intensity and relative importance of the manifestations of solar activity are due to the slow changes in the output of the solar dynamo, and they define space climate. Space climate governs long-term variations in geomagnetic activity and is the primary natural driver of terrestrial climate. To understand how the variable solar activity affects the Earth's environment, geomagnetic activity and the atmospheric system on both short and long time scales, we need to understand the origins of solar activity itself and its different manifestations, as well as the sequence of coupling processes linking various parts of the system. This session provides a forum to discuss the chain of processes and relations from the Sun to the Earth's surface: the origin and long-term and short-term evolution of solar activity, initiation and temporal variations in solar flares, CMEs, coronal holes, the solar wind and its interaction with the terrestrial magnetosphere, the ionosphere and its connection to the neutral dominated regions below and the plasma dominated regions above, the stratosphere, its variations due to the changing solar activity and its interactions with the underlying troposphere, and the mechanisms of solar influences on the lower atmosphere on different time-scales. Particularly welcome are papers highlighting the coupling processes between the different domains in this complex system.

Abstracts due 12th March 2012 extended to 21st March 2012 at

Main Convener Dr Katya Georgieva (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria); Co-conveners Dr Nat Gopalswamy (GSFC, NASA, United States), Dr Georgeta Maris (Institute of Geodynamics of the Romanian Academy, Romania), Dr Boian Kirov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Sofia, Bulgaria), Prof. Ramon Lopez (University of Texas at Arlington, United States), Prof. Thai Lan Hoang (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Viet Nam).

Friday, 2 March 2012

Radar School: Incoherent Scatter Radar School in Banff, Canada

Our American colleagues will organise the next Incoherent Scatter Radar Student Workshop at Banff Centre, Banff, Canada, from 29th July to 5th August 2012.

A workshop aimed at providing students with hands-on experience in designing and running experiments at incoherent scatter radar facilities will be held at the Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada. The workshop is being held in Canada for the first time in celebration of the brand new southward-looking Canadian Resolute Incoherent Scatter Radar (RISR-C). During this workshop, students will have the opportunity to run experiments and use data from multiple incoherent scatter radar observatories, such as Poker Flat (PFISR), Millstone Hill, Resolute Bay (RISR), Sondrestrom, Jicamarca and Arecibo. This is the fifth student workshop organised with the aim of teaching the new generation of scientists how to request and analyze incoherent scatter radar (ISR) experiments. All students will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with experienced scientists. The workshop will be structured to provide presentations in the morning, and hands-on experience in experiment design and analysis in the afternoons. The morning lectures will include an introduction to the theory of incoherent scatter, radar operations, ISR analysis techniques, and the Madrigal data base. The afternoon exercises will involve working closely with ISR facility staff in the topic areas of: proposal design, experiment execution, and data analysis.

This workshop is suitable for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. It is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) through its Geospace Facilities Program within the Geosciences Directorate and hosted in partnership with the Canadian RISR-C team.

Attendance is limited to 30 students. For most students within the U.S. and Canada, travel, housing and meals will be provided. For post-docs and students outside of the U.S. and Canada, funding will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Providing there is space, professors and other professionals are welcome to observe. Please contact Anthea Coster (ajc -at- if you are interested in this option.

The deadline for application submission is 15 March 2012. Please see the ISR Student Workshop's Website for more information.