Following on a trip earlier this month to prepare the antenna poles meant for a dual radar build in Iceland for shipping, a Dartmouth College - Virginia Tech crew returned to the Blackstone radar site to actually load the poles and related hardware into two shipping containers. The trip took place June 14-16 under difficult conditions of high temperature and sometimes punishing humidity. The PI for the Iceland radar build, Simon Shepherd from Dartmouth College, directed the loading. From Virginia Tech four crew members returned for this trip (Mike Ruohoniemi, Kevin Sterne, Ian Kelley, Mark Higgins) and were joined by undergrad John Fiorini. The photo shows the crew triumphant after loading the second container with antenna base sections. On June 21 Kevin returned solo to the site to oversee pickup of the containers by a trucking company. The hardware is now on its way to Iceland to complete the 4th MSI SuperDARN radar build.
Photo credit: Ned Jones (Virginia Tech Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center)
In photo from left to right: Kevin, Mark, Simon, Ian, Mike, John
A combined crew of SuperDARN PIs, research staff, and students visited the Blackstone site June 6 - 10. The goal was to prepare antenna poles and hardware for shipment to Iceland where they will be incorporated into the build of a new dual radar site at Pykkvibaer. The equipment has been stored at the Blackstone site for about ten years as a site was sought to complete the build of radars under the NSF Mid-Sized Infrastructure (MSI) program. The new radars will effectively replace the previous radars located at Stokkseyri and Pykkvibaer. Much woodworking and heavy lifting was required on this trip. The DC crew counted Simon Shepherd (PI) and undergrad Nathaniel Alden while the VT crew counted Mike Ruohoniemi (PI), Kevin Sterne, grad student Ian Kelley, and undergrad Mark Higgins. A second visit is planned to relocate the equipment stacks into shipping containers for delivery to a shipyard.

Updating of VT SuperDARN website underway

By: miker  on: Fri., Oct. 23, 2020 04:42 PM EDT  (2605 Reads)
Following the completion of the move of the VT SuperDARN group to new on-campus quarters, the group website is now undergoing a thorough updating, a process that may take several months. Temporary interruptions in some services are possible. If you have a time-critical need for a product that is unavailable, please contact a group member listed under 'Contact/Visit Us'.

New banner design credit: B. Kunduri
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Over the course of August and September of 2020 the SuperDARN radar group, with its offices and lab, re-located from a building in the Corporate Research Center on the outskirts of Blacksburg to a location near the heart of campus. This was part of the move of the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research (Space@VT) which counts groups in the ECE and AOE departments. Owing to covid-19 circumstances actual activities in the new areas remain limited with most people accessible by email and Zoom. The new quarters for the SuperDARN group are located on the 3rd floor of Durham Hall. Details of our new mailing address are given in 'Read More'. We look forward to welcoming visitors in our new quarters!

PRIC Visitor Jianjun Liu makes working trip to the Blackstone radar

By: miker  on: Tue., Jan. 14, 2020 03:54 PM EST  (3312 Reads)
Dr. Jianjun Liu from the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) made a working trip to the SuperDARN Blackstone site on January 13, 2020 and assisted in bringing this radar back on line. The crew included SuperDARN regulars Kevin Sterne and Mike Ruohoniemi and Virginia Tech undergrad Ian Kelley who performed significant diagnostics on the damaged parts. The PRIC is a member of the international SuperDARN collaboration (PI: Dr. Hongqiao Hu) and operates a SuperDARN radar at the Chinese Antarctic base at Zhongshan Station where Jianjun wintered over during a 14 month stay. He has been visiting the VT SuperDARN group since December and will return home later this week. The photo shows (from left to right) Jianjun, Kevin, and Mike standing in front of the Blackstone electronics.

Photo credit: Ian Kelley
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Visiting scientists tour the site of the Blackstone radar

By: miker  on: Fri., Apr. 26, 2019 05:02 PM EDT  (5780 Reads)
On April 25 a group of visitors was led by Kevin Sterne to make a tour of the Blackstone SuperDARN radar. Drs. Nozomu Nishitani and Tomo Hori and graduate student Kento Oya from ISEE Nagoya University were joined by Dr. Erxiao Liu from Hangzhou Dianzi University. The photograph shows the Japanese visitors with Kevin and towers of the two arrays and the equipment shelter in the background.

(Photo credit and missing from photo: Dr. Erxiao Liu)
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