Welcome to SuperDARN!
SuperDARN stands for Super Dual Auroral Radar Network. The network consists of more than 30 low-power HF radars that look into Earth's upper atmosphere beginning at mid-latitudes and extending into the polar regions. The radars operate continuously and observe the motion of charged particles (plasma) in the ionosphere and other effects that provide scientists with information on Earth's space environment. The knowledge gained from this work provides insight into space weather hazards including radiation exposure for high-altitude travelers and disruptions to communication networks, navigation systems (GPS), and electrical power grids.

The SuperDARN Research Group at Virginia Tech (VT) collaborates with an international community of scientists and engineers to operate radars and share data. The VT Group operates five radars. For a summary of the radars and their affiliations, visit the Radar Maps/Tables/Links web page.

U.S. SuperDARN Collaboration
The U.S. component of SuperDARN is funded by the National Science Foundation under the Space Weather Research (SWR) Program as a collaboration between Virginia Tech (lead institution), Dartmouth College, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). Click logos for access to the web sites of the U.S. SuperDARN partners.

Announcement of the 2018 SuperDARN Workshop in Banyuls, France: June 3 - 8, 2018

By: miker  on: Fri., Feb. 09, 2018 04:19 PM EST  (414 Reads)
Dr. Aurélie Marchaudon has announced that the “Planets, Environments and Space Plasmas” (PEPS) team of the Institute for Research in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP) of Toulouse (National Center for Scientific Research, CNRS and University Toulouse 3 - Paul Sabatier, UT3) will host the SuperDARN Workshop 2018 at the Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer (Occitanie, France) from the 3rd to the 8th of June 2018. The website is now open for registration. https://superdarn2018.sciencesconf.org/?forward-action=index&forward-controller=index&lang=en(external link)

Deadlines: / April 16: Abstract sub. / April 30: Early reg. / May 27: Late reg. /

RST 4.1 release now available

By: ksterne  on: Wed., Jan. 10, 2018 08:48 AM EST  (430 Reads)
Front Page News
A new version of the radar software toolkit (RST) has been released by the Data Analysis Working Group and can be found on the working group's github repository(external link) as version 4.1. Some major changes come with this new version including the deprecation of the '-new' flag in favor of using '-old' for data formats prior to 20060701 (*.dat, *.fit, etc.). The '-new' flag will no longer work and may break processing if used, so please update any external processing code.

In addition, RST 4.1 comes with major revisions to the gridding and mapping software. This means RST 4.1 will no longer produce the grdex and mapex files that are found on the VT-SuperDARN website. New files produced with the RST 4.1 code will be called grid2 and map2. These new files retain much of the same format as grdex and mapex files but are being separated to distinguish between the major revisions in the gridding and mapping software. RST 4.1 does maintain backwards compatibility so grdex and mapex files should be read and plotted with the current code.

Lastly, RST 4.1 introduces fitacf 3.0 as an experimental option of processing rawacf files into fitacf files. The default for this processing remains with fitacf 2.5, but users have the option to process what we at Virginia Tech are calling fitacf3 files with the command 'make_fit -fitacf-version 3.0'.

For now, grdex and mapex files will be produced to the end of 2017. Grid2 and map2 files will be produced starting with the beginning of 2017, but could be extended further back in time as necessary. Also, starting with the beginning of Dec. 2017, fitacf3 files will be produced in addition to fitacf (v2.5) files. Some of the web tools found on this website have been updated to plot this data. For the latest on what is available in the VT database, please refer to the data inventory page.

SuperDARN scientist Suzie Imber wins UK Astronaut contest

By: miker  on: Mon., Oct. 02, 2017 12:39 PM EDT  (845 Reads)
Prof. Mark Lester has passed on the exciting news that Dr. Suzie Imber from Leicester University has won a BBC-sponsored contest entitled 'Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?' to receive a reference from NASA Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield to be accepted into the ESA astronaut training program. Suzie is a graduate of Leicester University where she was advised by Prof. Steve Milan. She has worked as a Research Scientist at NASA GSFC and is currently Associate Professor at Leicester. Mark has passed on the following notes:

"Suzie Imber, who has made several contributions to the SuperDARN group, was selected as one of 12 contestants from an original pool of applicants of well in the thousands and reached the last 3 of the competition. In the final episode of the series it was announced that Suzie had won the competition. Many congratulations to Suzie!" Also see

http://www2.le.ac.uk/news/blog/2017-archive/september/leicester-space-scientist-proves-she-has-what-it-takes-to-become-an-astronaut(external link)

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Blackstone Wireless Hop Upgrade Trip, March 2018

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Mar. 16, 2018 01:56 PM EDT  (39 Reads)
Following an extended period of problems with the network connection to the site, a trip was planned after some new equipment was purchased to replace the aging wireless bridge system. The network connection has been a problem since the site was constructed, and in particular since the installation of new radios in 2011. However, through late 2017 and early 2018, the network connection was mostly down leading to long backlogs of data. To resolve this problem, new antennas, mounting hardware, and Ethernet cable were taken out to the site along with replacement radios that were in the lab. This trip was made while Mike and Kevin were coming back from Wallops Island in the two days prior. Of course, upon arriving to the site, the network connection was working.

Wallops Island Antenna Assessment Trip, March 2018

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Mar. 16, 2018 01:07 PM EDT  (39 Reads)
After examining the condition of many of the radars, it was determined that a major effort should be put into repairing the antenna array at Wallops Island. This effort also follows work done by Mike and Ethan along with Rob Pfaff to get the grounds around the antenna arrays cleared out and maintained in late 2016 and 2017. During this trip, Mike and Kevin took stock of what exactly needed to be repaired on the antenna arrays and get some order sheets going. With additional time, the RF performance of the transmitters and antennas would be measured to quantify the amount of repairs needed. Dr. Ethan Miller and Dr. Patrick Dandenault from APL joined us for a day to review the antenna array repair project.

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