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Millstone Hill Incoherent Scatter Radar Facility

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Solar Maximum Studies at the Millstone Hill Observatory  (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Millstone Hill Incoherent Scatter Radar Facility studies the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere and features a fully steerable, 46-meter antenna and 67-meter fixed zenith pointing dish. The favorable location of Millstone Hill at sub-auroral latitudes combined with the great operational range afforded by the steerable antenna permit observations over a latitude span encompassing the region between the polar cap and the near-equatorial ionosphere.

The research conducted by the scientific staff at Milestone Hill will encompass a broad range of topics involving processes and dynamics of the thermosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere, as well as investigations of plasma waves and magnetic storm effects. Scientific emphasis will include magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling in the vicinity of the plasmasphere boundary layer, space weather effects and processes over the continental United States, ionosphere-thermosphere coupling, and upper atmosphere climatology.

Education & Outreach

Radar and ancillary data from the observatory will be available online for community use. Student and external investigator participation in research at the observatory and in external studies is supported. Educational activities include Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) programs. The program incorporates community input and outreach activities through workshops at annual meetings and will encourage and support visiting students and instruments at the observatory. Analysis and data distribution techniques developed for in-house use will continue to be made available to the community and every effort will be made to make these analysis products compatible with the needs of the user community.

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Image

  • Image from an NSF-funded radar facility.
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