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The Upper Atmosphere


We greatly appreciate the help of the Penonsula Radio Group. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation.



Homer Radar

A team from Cornell University and the University of Alaska, Anchorage, has deployed new radar station in Homer. The purpose of the station is to observe VHF backscatter from the aurora during geomagnetically disturbed periods. Along with optical signatures, the aurora also has features which can be observed by radar, the so-called "radio aurora." The radar echoes thus obtained contain information about ionospheric plasma waves and instabilities driven by auroral currents, their intensity, drifts, and about associated plasma turbulence. We study the aurora to better understand the coupling between the Earth's ionosphere and magnetosphere and the solar wind and the sun, paying close attention to effects on human activity caused by solar activity and the resulting "space weather."

The radar employs software-defined receivers and solid-state transmitters and can be operated remotely and autonomously over the internet. The radar uses multiple, spaced antennas for reception and utilizes aperture synthesis imaging techniques familiar to radio astronomers to create three-dimensional images of the auroral scatterers. Animated sequences of images give a vivid account of auroral dynamics which can be combined with optical images and other in situ and remote sensing datasets, yielding an incisive picture of auroral phenomenology. The radar is situated in Homer so as to share a common volume with the PFISR radar deployed by NSF near Fairbanks and with the Poker Flat Research Range, a University of Alaska Fairbanks facility from which NASA sounding rockets are regularly launched.

MICA mission data

UT Date level 2 level 3 level 3 level 4 level 4
Feb. 13, 2012 r120213.pdf s120213.mpg
Feb. 15, 2012 r120215.pdf s120215.mpg
Feb. 17, 2012 r120217.pdf s120217.mpg
Feb. 19, 2012 r120219.pdf s120219-1.mpg s120219-2.mpg o120219-1.mpg o120219-2.mpg
Mar. 9, 2012 r120219.pdf s120309a.mpg s120309b.mpg
s120309c.mpg s120309d.mpg
Mar. 15, 2012 r120315.pdf s120315.mpg

First PINOT campaign

UT Date level 2 level 3 level 3 level 4 level 4
Nov. 12, 2012 r121112.pdf
Nov. 13, 2012 r121113a.pdf s121113b.mpg
r121113c.pdf s121113a.mpg
Nov. 14, 2012 r121114a.pdf s121114c.mpg s121114b.mpg
r121114b.pdf s121114a.mpg
Nov. 20, 2012 r121120.pdf s121120.mpg

Second PINOT campaign

UT Date level 2 level 3 level 3 level 4 level 4
Mar. 16, 2013 r130316.pdf s130316.mpg
Mar. 17, 2013 r130317.pdf s130317.mpg
r130317_1.pdf s130317_1.mpg s130317_1b.mpg
r130317_2.pdf s130317_2.mpg


These are some of the sights of the Homer radar site.