Monday, 16 September 2013

Bistatic VHF Success!

The following was reported today on the KAIRA blog of the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory by Juha Vierinen. We congratulate Juha, Ilkka, Niklas and Derek McKay-Bukowski to this fantastic achievement. Well done!

KAIRA Plasma Parameter Fit (KAIRA blog, 2013-09-16)

Ilkka Virtanen and Niklas Siipola have been analysing some of the KAIRA data that was recorded during the previous Finnish EISCAT campaign. The following plots show bi-static incoherent scatter plasma parameter profile plots obtained using KAIRA. The results are in good agreement with the Tromsø measurements, and also show for the first time that a simultaneous bi-static plasma parameter profile can be obtained using a phased array incoherent scatter radar receiver. This is still work in progress, but this is yet another step in the direction of KAIRA performing routine incoherent scatter plasma parameter measurements.

The PI of the experiment was Anita Aikio and the purpose of the experiment was 1) to obtain the first tri-static EISCAT VHF measurements, and 2) to leverage the multi beam capability of KAIRA to obtain a profile of wind velocity vectors (due to the lack of a third station, only two components of the velocity vector can be obtained).
Plasma parameters obtained using KAIRA.

Plasma parameters obtained using EISCAT VHF.


  1. This looks great! Congratulations to all involved!

    It would be interesting to know the number of remote beams and their separation, as well as the integration time. Also, why is there a sharp cutoff at 450km? Was that the intersection altitude of the highest elevation remote beam?

  2. This is excellent! Congratulations indeed.

    You say tristatic -- does that mean that the K and S stations were also active? If so, how do the KAIRA results compare to the tristatic VHF measurements at the intersection altitude?

  3. Ian:

    The sharp cutoff is due to the tile beam limiting the opening angle. The system also has a lot less collecting area than the VHF. I guess the integration time was similar to EISCAT VHF.


    I believe the remote VHF measurements were taken during the experiment with the newly converted VHF dishes. I didn't have plots, and I don't know how they compare to the VHF conversion dishes. I'd be interested to know this too. Anita might have the plots somewhere.


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