Wednesday, 28 August 2013

ISR School: Student Presentations

The most recent ISR School was held at MIT Haystack Observatory 29th July to 2nd August 2013, thus almost a month ago, but there's still something we didn't relay to our followers yet: the Student Presentations.

The format of the incoherent scatter radar schools on both sides of the Atlantic has converged pretty much to a schedule, where lectures are held in the morning, and group work is done in the afternoons, and possibly evenings and nights. On the first two days, students are introduced to the basics of ionospheric physics, the basics of incoherent scatter, and to the capabilities of the radars. Thereafter the groups have to write a brief experiment proposal and send it to one of the instructors, who will give feedback. In the evening of Day 2, the proposed experiments are run. For this school, the AMISR system at Poker Flat, Alaska (aka PFISR) was used. The rest of the week's group work is then dedicated to studying the data from these experiments.

The grand finale of the school is the day of the student presentations. Every group presents their results, and it's the rule that every member of every group has to present a part of the common work. Invariably the teams present very interesting results, which is owed to their enthusiasm and fresh point of view. Often the teams also inject some humour into their presentations: the photo shows a comparison of Hard Target vs Soft Target, which is an essential concept in the radar world. All in all the presentation day is a lot of fun for everyone involved.

During the past school, we put a camera into the audience, and created the short time-lapse movie above. Photos were taking at 5-second intervals, played back at 25 fps. Enjoy.

If you are interested in taking part in the Incoherent Scatter Radar School organised by our US colleagues, or indeed in the EISCAT Radar School: The next school will be the jointly organised US/EISCAT Radar School at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, 21st - 26th July 2014.

Photos/movie: Thomas Ulich; click on the photo for a link to the movie.

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