Friday, 20 December 2013

Friday Feature: Early Aerial View of KAIRA

Before building the Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array (KAIRA), the polystyrene frames to house the High-Band Array (HBA) elements, had to be tested for the winter durability. This took place during the winter 2010/2011 at the final KAIRA site, and it is documented on the KAIRA blog beginning with the post "Preparation Work" of 18th October 2010. The entire sequence of blog posts related to the winter test is available under the tag "test tiles".

While experimenting with the Apple Maps application, which recently made it into the release of its latest Mavericks operating system, we found that the excellent aerial imagery of the Kilpisjärvi area clearly shows both test tiles. We do not know when the photo was taken, but the tiles were deployed between mid October 2010 and mid May 2011.

The first photo above shows the general area with the customs station in the south and the KAIRA site north-north-west of it.  The second image shows the KAIRA site with both HBA winter test tiles.

Photos: Apple Inc., Maps app, version 1.0, 2013-12-18.

With these winter images we say good-bye for 2013, and wish all of you a wonderful Christmas time and a very Happy New Year 2014!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Vacancies: Research on Solar Long-term Variability and Effects, Oulu, Finland

Positions for Post-doctoral researchers and PhD students are available at the University of Oulu, Finland, within the Centre of Excellence in "Research on Solar Long-term Variability and Effects" (ReSoLVE) of the Academy of Finland. The first funding period covers the years 2014–2016, with a possibility of extension to 2017–2019.

ReSoLVE studies the long-term (centennial) magnetic evolution of the Sun, which depicts a dramatic increase in the 20th century and a recent rapid decline, and the effects of this variability to the space around the Sun and to the near-Earth environment, focusing on the evolution of solar poloidal magnetic fields and their role in varying the level of electromagnetic disturbances and the flux of energetic particles in near-Earth space. Specific research topics of ReSoLVE include, e.g., the solar wind and heliospheric magnetic field and their interaction with the Earth causing electromagnetic disturbances, energising particles, and ionising the atmosphere. Note that the effects of electromagnetic disturbances and energetic particles in the atmosphere are known to cause natural climate forcing whose overall significance is still unknown. The vibrant atmosphere of challenging front-end research in an international team, as well as the wild beauty of the nature of the Northern Finland, including auroral displays, are guaranteed.

Post-doctoral researcher positions A few post-doctoral researcher positions will be filled in 2014 for the first funding period. Extension may be possible if ReSoLVE is continued. PhD in space physics or a closely related field is required. Research experience within the above themes is appreciated. Successful candidates are expected to focus on research, but need to devote a fraction of time to supervising PhD students, lecturing and/or other education. The salary for Post-doctoral researchers is based on the job demand level 5-6 of the salary system for teaching and research staff in use in Finnish universities.

PhD student positions A number of PhD student positions will be filled in 2014 for the first funding period. MSc degree in space physics or a related field is required by the start of the position. A good command of English is mandatory. Successful candidates will perform PhD studies and related research at the University of Oulu. A description of PhD student admission requirements can be found at The salary for PhD students is based on the job demand level 2-4.

Positions start to be considered and filled immediately.

Applications should be sent by e-mail to Prof. Kalevi Mursula (kalevi.mursula(at), chair of ReSoLVE. The entire application must be merged into a single pdf-file and attached to the e-mail including a subject field text "ReSoLVE Application". The application must include the following parts:

  • Curriculum vitae (max 4 pages). 
  • A brief description (max 2 pages) of research experience (Post-doc) and/or interest (PhD student) and its relation to the research topics of ReSoLVE. 
  • A list of publications, with up to five most relevant publications highlighted (Only Post-doc). 
  • Names and contact information (incl. email and telephone number) of three persons willing to provide professional recommendations upon request. 

Positions will be filled as long as suitable applicants are found. All positions include a 4-month trial period.

Text: Timo Asikainen, Dept of Physics, University of Oulu, Finland.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (source).