This project includes the Norwegian investment into EISCAT_3D stage 1.
EISCAT_3D is a multi-static phased array radar system for observations of the auroral zone. The stage 1 consists of a transmitter and receiver site located near Skibotn, and two receiver sites located at a distance of approximately 130 km in Sweden and Finland.
EISCAT_3D uses new radar technology and state-of-the-art digital signal processing to study atmospheric phenomena with high space and time resolution beyond those achieved with current systems. This is important for studies related to understanding the physis of the upper atmosphere works and its interaction with space. EISCAT_3D will therefore be a world-leading international research infrastructure. EISCAT radars measure incoherent scatter of radio waves from the ionosphere. This can be applied to a broad range of space plasma physics studies, including the physical processes in the northern lights, effects of climate change and space weather. Other research areas are detection of space debris and objects such as meteors that enter our atmosphere. EISCAT_3D will be operational for users in the end of 2022. The project is now in a phase where key components are tested and manufactured on a large scale.
This proposal is asking for Norwegian funding towards construction of EISCAT_3D (E3D), which is an international project on The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap. E3D is a world-class radar facility for investigations of the geospace environment. It will replace the ageing EISCAT facilities in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland. E3D will use the incoherent scattering (IS) technique to make 3-dimensional vector measurements across a wide field of view of key parameters in the auroral atmosphere by taking advantage of technological advances in radio, radar, computing, and signal analysis. E3D will have better sensitivity, resolution, capability, and flexibility than any of the other radar facilities in the world. E3D will allow us to understand the flows, sources, sinks, and interactions of energy, momentum and mass in the auroral atmosphere. E3D will provide synergies towards relevant areas of increasing socioeconomic importance; including atmospheric precursors of climate change and vulnerability of modern technological infrastructures due to space weather and space debris. E3D can study auroral particle precipitation that depletes ozone in the stratosphere, and atmospheric tides and sudden stratospheric warming events bring disturbances to the ionosphere from below. Real-time measurements from E3D will be provided to monitoring services dealing with space weather and space debris, a key focus of ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme. E3D will also contribute to science and engineering education at all levels. The project will create opportunities to national industry and services in communications hardware and software and information technologies. This E3D project is backed by all major universities in Norway (Tromsø, Bergen, Oslo, UNIS and NTNU), Andøya Space Center and the Norwegian Space Centre. The application has been developed in close collaboration with EISCAT HQ and they strongly support it.