Welcome to SuperDARN!
SuperDARN stands for Super Dual Auroral Radar Network. The network consists of over 30 low-power HF radars that look into Earth's upper atmosphere beginning at mid-latitudes and extending into the polar regions. The radars operate continuously and observe the motion of charged particles (plasma) in the ionosphere and other effects that provide scientists with information on Earth's space environment. The knowledge gained from this work provides insight into space weather hazards including radiation exposure for high-altitude travelers and disruptions to communication networks, navigation systems (GPS), and electrical power grids.

The SuperDARN Research Group at Virginia Tech (VT) collaborates with an international community of scientists and engineers to operate the radars and share data. The VT Group operates five radars. For a summary of the radars and their affiliations, visit our Radar Maps/Tables/Links page.

SuperDARN - An NSF Geospace Facility
The U.S. component of SuperDARN is funded by the National Science Foundation under the Geospace Facilities (GF) program as a collaboration between Virginia Tech (lead institution) and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). The primary SuperDARN web site is hosted by JHU/APL. Supporting web sites are hosted by MSI/SuperDARN partners at Dartmouth College and University of Alaska Fairbanks. Click logos for access.

2014 SuperDARN Workshop on Svalbard (Norway), May 25-30, 2014

By: Nathaniel Frissell  on: Sun., Dec. 08, 2013 02:42 PM EST  (1285 Reads)
Registration Website: http://www.unis.no/superdarn2014/(external link)
Meeting Dates: May 25-30, 2014
Deadlines for Registration & Accommodation: 23rd February 2014
Deadline for Abstracts: 25th April 2014

The 2014 SuperDARN meeting is going to be held in Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway). Longyearbyen is located on an archipelago at 78˚ North Latitude, making it one of the northernmost towns in the world. Longyearbyen has a long history of auroral and ionospheric research and is home to EISCAT Svalbard Incoherent Scatter Radar, the Kjell Henriksen Auroral Observatory, and the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). Longyearbyen is slated to be a future site of a SuperDARN radar.

Pictured: The 32 m dish of the EISCAT Svalbard radar (ESR). This radar operates in the 500 MHz band with a peak transmitter power of 1.0 MW. Foreground: Students from UNIS, the world's northernmost institution for higher education and research.

The Canadian e-PoP satellite mission detects SuperDARN HF radar signals

By: miker  on: Thu., Dec. 05, 2013 11:14 PM EST  (806 Reads)
SuperDARN PIs Drs. Kathryn McWilliams and J.-P. St. Maurice have announced that the Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) carried by the CASSIOPE satellite has detected signals from the Saskatoon SuperDARN HF radar. The RRI is a component of the Canadian e-POP mission and is designed to receive SuperDARN pulses. The data have been analyzed by Dr. Rob Gillies of the University of Calgary and plotted to show that they reproduce the familiar radar multipulse sequence.

CASSIOPE is a small satellite from the Canadian Space Agency. It was launched on 29 Sept 2013 by SpaceX on their experimental Falcon 9 launch vehicle. E-PoP is the scientific payload and consists of eight space instruments including the RRI. The e-PoP Mission Scientist and Project Leader is Dr. Andrew Yau of the University of Calgary. Dr. Gordon James of the Communications Research Council (CRC) in Ottawa is the PI for the RRI and also Deputy Mission Scientist.

Ray Greenwald to give the Nicolet Lecture at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco

By: miker  on: Sun., Dec. 01, 2013 01:05 AM EST  (1312 Reads)
Lecture details: Wednesday, December 11, 5:00-6:00 PM in Moscone West, Room 2022

The Executive Committee of the Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has selected VT SuperDARN researcher Dr. Ray Greenwald to give the Nicolet Lecture for aeronomy and ionospheric physics at the 2013 AGU meeting. Ray of course is the originator of the HF coherent scatter radar technique and a founder of the SuperDARN collaboration. He is on the research faculty of Virginia Tech and a member of Space@VT. Congratulations, Ray!

More than 24,000 scientists, educators, and students are expected to attend the 2013 Fall AGU Meeting in San Francisco, December 9-13. The meeting website is http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/(external link)

The Nicolet lecture is part of an honorary lecture series called the Bowie Lectures. Also at the Fall 2013 AGU meeting and as part of the series, Prof. Nancy Crooker of Boston University will give the Parker Lecture for solar and heliospheric physics. For more information on the Bowie Lectures and the Lectures at this year's meeting click 'Read More'.

Read All SuperDARN News Articles.

Blackstone Trips March/April 2014

By: ksterne  on: Tue., Apr. 15, 2014 04:01 PM EDT  (39 Reads)
After the overhaul of electronics at the Blackstone site in 2011, a better way of controlling the phase beam steering was introduced with a modified version of what the University of Saskatchewan radars are using (Saskatoon, Inuviuk, Prince George, Ranken Inlet, and Clyde River). This design makes use of direct digital synthesis (DDS) chips and a micro-controller to create the phase shifts as well as the control signals that are needed to run the radar. The modified design was purchased from the University of Saskatchewan and assembled in the Virginia Tech lab between 2013 and 2014. During the end of March and a separate trip on April 8th, the modified Univ. of Saskatchewan design was installed at the Blackstone radar. Also during these trips, measurements and calibrations were done in order to reconfirm the tdiff to be used in the hdw.dat.bks file.

In the end these calculations did not result in a new line to the hdw.dat.bks file from the previous change on July 9, 2013. As well, the Blackstone radar began recording elevation angle data late in the day on March 27th, 2014.

Fort Hays Trip, Nov. 2013

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Nov. 15, 2013 02:08 PM EST  (858 Reads)
Following the trip from April/May 2013, a persistent problem developed with the QNX computers network interface cards. The cards would randomly lock up and not accept any new connections on a time scale of 12 hours to a couple of days. To bring the Fort Hays radars back online, a hard reboot was performed. However, after several months of this type of treatment, the linux computer failed.

During this trip, a new linux computer was taken out to the site and successfully installed. This computer is using radar operating software provided by Jef Spaleta's (University of Alaska Fairbanks) github repository. Using the github software development, future changes to the code will be tracked and implemented at the radar site.

Read All SuperDARN Technical News Articles.