Thursday, 29 September 2011

Updated Science Image

Today I updated the figure (on the right panel) that shows the different science cases that can be addressed with KAIRA. I have added two more cases: Relative TEC tomography, and tropospheric echos.

Relative TEC tomography involves several different LOFAR stations simultaneously measuring the total electron content, which is basically the difference in ionospheric propagation delay. Because LOFAR can do this with radio stars, in theory it should be possible to perform these kinds of measurements on a huge number of directions simultaneously. This is a huge advantage compared to satellite tomography, which can only measure the total electron content between ground based stations and satellites. This large number of rays might make it possible to do extremely high resolution 3D ionospheric tomography with LOFAR. Currently the best location for doing this would be near the core of the array, where there are many stations located nearby.

The tropospheric echo science case was added after discussions with Ingemar Häggström of EISCAT, who told me that he often sees tropospheric echos in Kiruna, both from the VHF and UHF. With multistatic receivers, this would potentially allow tropospheric wind and scattering spectrum measurements.

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