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.

In addition to the U.S. partner institutions, SuperDARN is made institutions from several countries around the world that share a common interest in studies of the ionosphere and the relationship between the ionosphere and space weather at large. Click the logos below for access to our international partners.

News article features Fort Hays State University SuperDARN intern Kelly Strecker

By: miker  on: Thu., July 19, 2018 03:19 PM EDT  (22 Reads)
An article featuring intern Kelly Strecker and the SuperDARN radar facility located on the grounds of Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in western Kansas has appeared in the FHSU magazine 'Roar'. Kelly is an FHSU undegraduate in physics originally from Colorado. She was appointed to her position as SuperDARN intern by Dr. Gavin Buffington, chair of the Department of Physics at FHSU. As part of her duties she minds the radar site and reports back on issues to Virginia Tech personnel. Currently she is visiting the Virginia Tech SuperDARN Lab in Blacksburg, Virginia and has participated in a repair trip to the Blackstone radar. To read the article click on the link
https://issuu.com/forthays/docs/roar_spr18_web(external link)
Note that Kelly is featured on the cover framed by antenna support poles and the article is on pages 32-35. The SuperDARN internship program at FHSU provides research experience to undergrads and is supported by the NSF via subcontract from Virginia Tech.

Read All VT News Articles

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

By: miker  on: Fri., Feb. 09, 2018 04:19 PM EST  (1491 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 open for late registration until May 27. Workshop website: https://superdarn2018.sciencesconf.org/?forward-action=index&forward-controller=index&lang=en(external link)

A first version of the programme is online at: https://superdarn2018.sciencesconf.org/program/details(external link)

RST 4.1 release now available

By: ksterne  on: Wed., Jan. 10, 2018 08:48 AM EST  (929 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.

Read All SuperDARN News Articles.

Wallops Island Antenna Overhaul Trip Part I, May 2018

By: ksterne  on: Mon., July 02, 2018 02:56 PM EDT  (131 Reads)
After a trip in March 2018, the next steps in making repairs to the antenna array would be the removal of the old reflector wires as well as the upper and lower horizontal guy wires. A trip was made to the site in mid-May as the availability of personnel and a lift from Wallops Island’s facilities coincided at this time. Thanks needs to be given to Philip Smith with NASA/Wallops Island for coordinating a lift for us. A majority of materials ordered following the March 2018 trip would also be on hand by this time which would facilitate the initial steps needed for the repairs.

Blackstone Antenna Repair Trip, May 2018

By: ksterne  on: Fri., June 29, 2018 02:44 PM EDT  (129 Reads)
Following the April 2018 overnight trip to Blackstone when many of the transmitters were repaired, a trip was needed to make some repairs to the antenna array. On leaving the radar during the April trip, there were more transmitters in working condition that there were antennas. A trip was organized in order to make repairs to the antenna array including antenna feeder cables, antenna wires, baluns, resistor boxes, and reflector wires. Dr. Mike Ruohoniemi, Paul Kennedy, and Kevin Sterne made 2-day trip to the site in order to make these repairs and investigate any other issues along the antenna arrays.

Read All SuperDARN Technical News Articles.