Welcome to SuperDARN!
SuperDARN stands for Super Dual Auroral Radar Network. The network consists of more than 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 radars and share data. The VT Group operates five radars. For a summary of the radars and their affiliations, visit the Radar Maps/Tables/Links web page.

U.S. SuperDARN Collaboration
The U.S. component of SuperDARN is funded by the National Science Foundation under the Space Weather Research (SWR) Program as a collaboration between Virginia Tech (lead institution), Dartmouth College, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). Click logos for access to the web sites of the U.S. SuperDARN partners.

Paper by Ray Greenwald cited by Radio Science as a top downloaded article

By: miker  on: Fri., Feb. 16, 2018 05:45 PM EST  (54 Reads)
The AGU journal Radio Science has announced that Ray's article cited below has been identified as one of the journal's top 10 most downloaded papers (based on measuring downloads within the first 12 months of on-line publication for articles published between 2016-2017):

Greenwald, R. A. (2017), The importance of international collaboration in space research, Radio Sci., 52, 511–515, doi:10.1002/2017RS006329.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017RS006329/full(external link)

The article was commissioned by the editors of Radio Science as part of an Earth Day series reviewing the status of space science in the U.S.

Congratulations, Ray!

Space@VT REU program and off-campus summer schools accepting applications for summer 2018

By: miker  on: Thu., Feb. 15, 2018 12:53 PM EST  (154 Reads)
The Space@VT research center welcomes applications from undergraduates with interests in space for summer 2018 REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) internships. See the Space@VT web site for more information: http://www.space.vt.edu/.(external link) Deadline for applications is March 1.

In addition, off-campus summer schools are advertising for both senior undergraduate and beginning graduate students. For a partial listing see the 'VT SuperDARN' / 'Student Opportunities' item on the menu to the left. The earliest application deadline is February 22 and most are March 1.
Photo Credit: NCAR/HAO website sourced at Advanced Visualization Lab at NCSA/Univ. Illinois (D. Cox et al.)


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Announcement of the 2018 SuperDARN Workshop in Banyuls, France: June 3 - 8, 2018

By: miker  on: Fri., Feb. 09, 2018 04:19 PM EST  (147 Reads)
Dr. Aurélie Marchaudon has announced that the “Planets, Environments and Space Plasmas” (PEPS) team of the Institute for Research in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP) of Toulouse (National Center for Scientific Research, CNRS and University Toulouse 3 - Paul Sabatier, UT3) will host the SuperDARN Workshop 2018 at the Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer (Occitanie, France) from the 3rd to the 8th of June 2018. The website is now open for registration. https://superdarn2018.sciencesconf.org/?forward-action=index&forward-controller=index&lang=en(external link)

Deadlines: April 16: abstract sub. / April 30: early reg. / May 27: late reg.

RST 4.1 release now available

By: ksterne  on: Wed., Jan. 10, 2018 08:48 AM EST  (277 Reads)
Front Page News
A new version of the radar software toolkit (RST) has been released by the Data Analysis Working Group and can be found on the working group's github repository(external link) as version 4.1. Some major changes come with this new version including the deprecation of the '-new' flag in favor of using '-old' for data formats prior to 20060701 (*.dat, *.fit, etc.). The '-new' flag will no longer work and may break processing if used, so please update any external processing code.

In addition, RST 4.1 comes with major revisions to the gridding and mapping software. This means RST 4.1 will no longer produce the grdex and mapex files that are found on the VT-SuperDARN website. New files produced with the RST 4.1 code will be called grid2 and map2. These new files retain much of the same format as grdex and mapex files but are being separated to distinguish between the major revisions in the gridding and mapping software. RST 4.1 does maintain backwards compatibility so grdex and mapex files should be read and plotted with the current code.

Lastly, RST 4.1 introduces fitacf 3.0 as an experimental option of processing rawacf files into fitacf files. The default for this processing remains with fitacf 2.5, but users have the option to process what we at Virginia Tech are calling fitacf3 files with the command 'make_fit -fitacf-version 3.0'.

For now, grdex and mapex files will be produced to the end of 2017. Grid2 and map2 files will be produced starting with the beginning of 2017, but could be extended further back in time as necessary. Also, starting with the beginning of Dec. 2017, fitacf3 files will be produced in addition to fitacf (v2.5) files. Some of the web tools found on this website have been updated to plot this data. For the latest on what is available in the VT database, please refer to the data inventory page.

SuperDARN scientist Suzie Imber wins UK Astronaut contest

By: miker  on: Mon., Oct. 02, 2017 12:39 PM EDT  (673 Reads)
Prof. Mark Lester has passed on the exciting news that Dr. Suzie Imber from Leicester University has won a BBC-sponsored contest entitled 'Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?' to receive a reference from NASA Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield to be accepted into the ESA astronaut training program. Suzie is a graduate of Leicester University where she was advised by Prof. Steve Milan. She has worked as a Research Scientist at NASA GSFC and is currently Associate Professor at Leicester. Mark has passed on the following notes:

"Suzie Imber, who has made several contributions to the SuperDARN group, was selected as one of 12 contestants from an original pool of applicants of well in the thousands and reached the last 3 of the competition. In the final episode of the series it was announced that Suzie had won the competition. Many congratulations to Suzie!" Also see

http://www2.le.ac.uk/news/blog/2017-archive/september/leicester-space-scientist-proves-she-has-what-it-takes-to-become-an-astronaut(external link)

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Fort Hays Reflector Rebuild Trip Part 2, Aug. 2017

By: ksterne  on: Wed., Oct. 04, 2017 11:16 AM EDT  (839 Reads)
Following the May 2017 trip, the west main reflector array still needed to be rebuilt with a little over half of the wires still needing to be strung up. This trip would also serve as the last tune up of the radar prior to the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017.

Fort Hays Reflector Rebuild Trip, May 2017

By: ksterne  on: Tue., Oct. 03, 2017 04:06 PM EDT  (672 Reads)
Following an ice storm in January 2017 and an assessment trip in Feb. 2017 a major trip was made to make repairs to the West main antenna array reflector so that the west radar was fully functional well prior to the August 2017 solar eclipse.

Read All SuperDARN Technical News Articles.