Arctic Ionospheric Response to Space Weather Events (ACROSS)

Project description

The ionosphere in the Arctic region, where aurora (Northern lights) can be seen, is the most sensitive region on the globe to Space Weather. In the ACROSS project, we will quantify the changes produced in the Arctic ionosphere-atmosphere system by the two most common Space Weather events: coronal mass ejections from the Sun and solar wind high-speed streams. We will study how the Arctic electron densities are affected, how the ionosphere is heated, and how the heated atmosphere is upwelling. We will use the world-leading EISCAT_3D radar, the EISCAT Svalbard radar, Fabry-Perot spectrometers, auroral cameras, magnetometers as well as a large number of other instruments. We will develop advanced data analysis tools using Bayesian approach and utilize computer simulations. The results of the project are important for making better space weather predictions e.g. for ionospheric storms and related increased satellite drag, HF radio communication and GNSS navigation disturbances.

The Ionospheric Physics research group consists of one professor, several senior researchers and doctoral students, and the group is a part of the Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit (https://www.oulu.fi/spacephysics-astronomy/). The group carries out ionospheric research by using data provided by ground-based and satellite instruments. Beginning at the end of 2022, we are very excited to be able to use the unique EISCAT_3D radar data. The state-of-the-art analysis techniques developed within our group are available for the new members of the group. We have wide international and national collaboration networks, including the University’s independent department Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory. The research unit is committed to high-quality undergraduate and graduate teaching.