Wednesday 8 January 2014

Combined VHF Radar and KAIRA Ionospheric Scintillation Experiment

For the next three days, KAIRA is set up to observe ionospheric scintillation of the strong radio source Cassiopeia A using mode "357".  This time, however, we are also observing with the EISCAT VHF radar, setup in a tristatic mode, with the aim of establishing what the ionosphere looks like in terms of it's density and velocity structure for the various scintillation conditions we might see.

The image shows a map of northern Fenno-Scandinavia with the locations of the KAIRA and EISCAT sites marked and a track for Cassiopeia A.  This track is of the point of the line of sight from KAIRA to the radio source where it passes through an altitude of 300km, a good estimate of the height of the ionosphere's F-region, plotted from 22:00 UT to 03:00 UT tonight.  As you can see, the track starts almost overhead at the EISCAT radar site and continues almost due northwards.  This makes it ideal for combined observations as the regions which should be causing the scintillation seen by KAIRA can be probed directly by the VHF radar, which is limited to observing overhead and to the north.

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