Goose Bay, Canada (53.32 N, -60.46 E)

The SuperDARN radar at Goose Bay is the grand old dame of all SuperDARN radars. It was the first HF radar to be constructed and saw first light in October, 1983. Ray Greenwald was PI of the radar until 2008 when he was succeeded by Mike Ruohoniemi.

The Goose Bay radar is maintained locally by Mr. Kent White of Labrador Specialty Services, Inc.

Historical notes:

Synposis: The site at Goose Bay was originally selected for proximity to the airport and to an AFRL geophysical observatory. The site was shared for many years with a Lowell sounder until this was relocated to the other side of the airfield in 2009. Currently, there is a THEMIS-derived imager on the site that is operated by the University of Alberta.

The radar was built by Ray Greenwald and Kile Baker, with substantial assistance from French and UK colleagues and the U.S. Air National Guard. It has experienced several upgrades in transmiters and control control electronics.

Transmitters: In 1986 the original 100 watt transmitters (from where?) where replaced by Ray, Kile, Jean-Paul Villain, and Mike Ruohoniemi with transmitters capable of producing 2 kW into dummy loads. However, the rf interference between antennas at these power levels was too fierce, causing tx electronics to blow within minutes of transmitters operating on adjacent antennas. The problem was only solved by throttling down to 1 kW output power into the antennas. In 2005 the transmitters were dismounted from the bases of the poles and brought indoors.

Antennas: The antennas are still the originals provided by Sabre Corp.

Phasing Matrix: This was provided by French colleagues and upgraded by them in 199x. This equipment was originally housed in a small shed in the middle of the radar field. The phasing matrix was brought indoors when the computers were re-located from a distant AFRL building to a trailer positioned at the middle of the array in 199x. The phasing electronics were eventually superseded by electronics provided by Leicester University.

Control electronics: We are currently using control electronics and phasing matrices provided by Leicester University (input needed).

Interferometer array: Regarding the solution for angle of arrival using the interferometer array, I (Ray) recall, Kile was unable to come up with an analytic solution when the two arrays were displaced in the y and z directions. He was able to get an iterative solution, but did not like it. The reason that the arrays were displaced by ~50 m is that we a had requested some air force reservists to install a second 16 antenna array without looking at antennas that were being used by other users of the site. Bodo Reinish had a vertical log periodic antenna and we placed our 16th antenna right in front of it. Bodo screamed so we moved the 16th antenna to the far left end of the array creating a ~15m displacement. We probably should have just removed the antenna and worked with the remaining 15. Eventually we removed 12 of the antennas and sent them to Kap where someone stole all of the aluminum antennas and sold them for scrap metal. The towers were eventually sent to Prince George or Kodiak (I forget which site).
Goose Bay Radar Field of View Map


Show Hardware Table

Show a detailed decription of the parameters in the hardware files

Download Goose Bay Hardware File(external link)