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A decade of the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN): scientific achievements, new techniques and future directions

A review paper published in Surveys in Geophysics highlights the scientific achievements made by ground-based radars in understanding ‘space weather’. In the mid 1990s British Antarctic Survey scientists co-founded an international organisation to develop technologies to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere and near-Earth space. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) revolutionised our understanding of many aspects of the mesosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere. Scientists from eight countries created and manage a network of 12 radars covering the Arctic and seven covering the Antarctic. By combining radar measurements of the motion of the ionised upper atmosphere scientists can produce ‘space weather’ maps that are comparable to the more familiar weather maps. These maps allow scientists to study ‘winds’ and ‘storms’ in a vast region of near-Earth space that is home to thousands of satellites vulnerable to extreme space weather events.

BAS built its SuperDARN radar (known over the years as the SHARE or PACE radar) at its Halley Research Station in 1988. This paper provides a historical introduction to the origins of the SuperDARN network, reviews its scientific achievements over the last ten years (in which BAS scientists have played a major role), and proposes exciting future directions for SuperDARN science.

Find the link to the full paper in the NERC Open Research Archive

Additional Links

Sun Earth Connections Programme (SEC)

Authors

G.Chisham, M.Lester, S.E.Milan, M.P.Freeman, W.A.Bristow, A.Grocott, K.A.McWilliams, J.M.Ruohoniemi, T.K.Yeoman, P.L.Dyson, R.A.Greenwald, T.Kikuchi, M.Pinnock, J.P.S.Rash, N.Sato, G.J.Sofko, J.-P.Villain, A.D.M.Walker

Publication

Surveys in Geophysics (July 2007) 28: 33-109