Dec 31, 2019

First measures of Earth's ionosphere found with the largest atmospheric radar in the Antarctic


Overview of the press release

There's chaos in the night sky, about 60 to 600 miles above Earth's surface. Called the ionosphere, this layer of Earth's atmosphere is blasted by solar radiation that breaks down the bonds of ions. Free electrons and heavy ions are left behind, constantly colliding.

This dance was previously measured through a method called incoherent scatter radar in the northern hemisphere, where researchers beam radio wave into the ionosphere. The electrons in the atmosphere scatter the radio wave "incoherently". The different ways they scatter tell researchers about the particles populating the layer.

Now, researchers have used radar in Antarctica to make the first measurements from the Antarctic region. They published their preliminary results on September 17, 2019 in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology.

Figure 1. Antarctic Syowa radar(PANSY), the first Mesosphere–Stratosphere–Troposphere/Incoherent Scatter (MST/IS) radar consisting of an active phased array of 1045 Yagi antennas. Photo: Taishi Hashimoto (NIPR)


To read the full press release, please visit the National Institute of Polar Research website.


Professor Kaoru Sato (Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science) participated in this research.


Publication details

Journal Nature Communications
Title First Incoherent Scatter Measurements and Adaptive Suppression of Field-Aligned Irregularities by the PANSY Radar at Syowa Station, Antarctic
Authors Taishi Hashimoto, Akinori Saito, Koji Nishimura,Masaki Tsutsumi, Kaoru Sato, Toru Sato
DOI 10.1175/JTECH-D-18-0175.1


― Office of Communication ―