First Paper in 'History of SuperDARN' series published

By: miker  on: Thu., Aug. 19, 2021 04:58 PM EDT  (988 Reads)
SuperDARN founder Ray Greenwald has published the first of a planned 3-part series on the history of SuperDARN in the journal 'History of Geo- and Space Sciences'. The paper covers the pre-SuperDARN era from experiments using HF coherent radar in Alaska with Jean-Paul Villain through the construction of radars at Goose Bay, Schefferville, and Halley Station and the development of techniques critical to the development of SuperDARN. The article is available for download from the site 'SuperDARN+'

Ray dedicated this history to the memory of three SuperDARN pioneers who made significant contributions that demonstrated the value of HF radar measurements of the ionosphere and magnetosphere, particularly at high latitudes. They are John C. Samson, Jean-Paul Villain, and A. David M. Walker.

Congratulations, Ray! We look forward to the next installment.


Release of Radar Software Toolkit, RST4.6 and How-to-Cite information

By: miker  on: Wed., Aug. 04, 2021 11:21 AM EDT  (1537 Reads)
On behalf of the SuperDARN Data Analysis Working Group, Co-chairs Emma Bland (UNIS) and Kevin Sterne (Virginia Tech) have announced a new minor release of the Radar Software Toolkit, RST4.6. The new release can be downloaded here: link) Users are encouraged to contact WG members if they have questions or find problems with the software. New contributions to the software are also most welcome. The WG can be contacted by opening an "issue" on Github (, or alternatively by email. For more information, click 'Read More'.
Emma and Kevin say 'Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the development and testing of this release!'

To cite the software in publications: SuperDARN Data Analysis Working Group, Schmidt, M.T., Bland, E.C., Thomas, E.G., Burrell, A.G., Coco, I., Ponomarenko, P.V., Reimer, A.S., Sterne, K.T., & Walach, M.-T. (2021). SuperDARN Radar Software Toolkit (RST) (Version 4.6). Zenodo. link)
Following on a trip earlier this month to prepare the antenna poles meant for a dual radar build in Iceland for shipping, a Dartmouth College - Virginia Tech crew returned to the Blackstone radar site to actually load the poles and related hardware into two shipping containers. The trip took place June 14-16 under difficult conditions of high temperature and sometimes punishing humidity. The PI for the Iceland radar build, Simon Shepherd from Dartmouth College, directed the loading. From Virginia Tech four crew members returned for this trip (Mike Ruohoniemi, Kevin Sterne, Ian Kelley, Mark Higgins) and were joined by undergrad John Fiorini. The photo shows the crew triumphant after loading the second container with antenna base sections. On June 21 Kevin returned solo to the site to oversee pickup of the containers by a trucking company. The hardware is now on its way to Iceland to complete the 4th MSI SuperDARN radar build.
Photo credit: Ned Jones (Virginia Tech Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center)
In photo from left to right: Kevin, Mark, Simon, Ian, Mike, John

Release of pyDARN Version 2.1 announced

By: miker  on: Mon., June 21, 2021 03:38 PM EDT  (1662 Reads)
Marina Schmidt of the University of Saskatchewan SuperDARN group has announced the release of version 2.1 of pyDARN, a python library used for data visualization of SuperDARN data. It can be downloaded from Zenodo: link)
Via pip: pip3 install pydarn
Or upgrade: pip3 install --upgrade pydarn

The documentation for pyDARN has also been updated including tutorials for the new features: link)

For a description of the new features and additional information, click 'Read More'
The NASA Directorate of STEM Enjgagement has announced opportunities for professional development. To be eligible to submit a proposal, candidates must be U.S. citizens or a national who hold a bachelor's degree earned before Aug. 31, 2021; candidates must be enrolled in a master's or doctoral degree program no later than Sept. 1, 2021, and intend to pursue a research-based Masters or Ph.D. program in a NASA-relevant field. For each Fellow, his or her institution receives up to a $55,000 annual award ($50,000 for Master’s student and $55,000 for Doctoral student), pending available Congressional funding.
Note: MSI - Minority Serving Institution
Proposals are due:
June 30, 2021 for ​APPENDIX L: Program Element Two: MSI and Non-MSI Fellowship 2021
July 19, 2021 for APPENDIX M: Program Element Three: MSI and Non-MSI Fellowship 2021 Part 2
For full program details, visit:! link)

Dr. Joseph B. H. Baker promoted to full professor

By: miker  on: Wed., June 09, 2021 12:17 PM EDT  (549 Reads)
Congratulations to Dr. Jo Baker on his promotion to the rank of full professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering! The announcement was made by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during its June 2021 meeting, see link)

Since his arrival at Virginia Tech in 2008 Dr. Baker has been key to the growth of the SuperDARN research group including student mentorship and has been responsible for many initiatives in the teaching program of the department. He was awarded the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in 2012. Jo is currently providing senior leadership to both the SuperDARN and Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Science Team (MIST) programs.
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