The investigators will operate and manage the Poker Flat and Resolute Bay Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR) facilities. This effort continues facility operations and community support from the past five years, focused on assisting the research community by 1. directing use of state-of-the-art facilities in unique parts of the world, 2. providing access to a staff of scientists and engineers for consultation and collaboration, 3. providing logistics support for campaigns and long-term measurement programs, 4. providing easy access to various levels of processed and analyzed radar data, and 5. participating in the training of students and assisting student advisors. Knowledge of the Earth's upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and geospace environment has advanced significantly during the second half of the twentieth century due in large part to the use of incoherent scatter radars (ISRs). A detailed understanding of even the most basic processes remains somewhat vague, however, because such an understanding must encompass the strongly coupled systems of the Earth's upper atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and the solar wind. At times, important temporal scales can range from seconds through days. Similarly, the relevant spatial scales range from sub-meters to thousands of kilometers. The AMISR radars have significant scientific advantages over existing ISRs, largely due to the rapid steering provided by the phased array antenna. This pulse-to-pulse steering capability can be exploited to resolve many of the temporal/spatial ambiguities inherent in measurements from mechanically steered dish-based systems. A phased array system enables the short timescale, three-dimensional imaging of ionospheric structures and the tracking of their evolution. Perhaps even greater scientific impact is realized by the ability of the AMISR systems to operate unattended and for some systems on a 24/7 basis. The AMISR facility is remotely accessible, and the ISR and ancillary instruments have been designed to produce processed data that can be made publicly available and distributed to the user community over the internet. The provision of user-friendly data and display capabilities, which meet the community's research needs, is an important part of AMISR operations. Support of a strong, distributed, and trained user community is very important to the overall scientific success of the AMISR project. The AMISR management team will work directly with the students and student advisors from a number of universities to assist with training, experiment planning, and scheduling. The team will also maintain a repository for contributed course materials, technical data, and facility instrument information.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS)
Cooperative Agreement (Coop)
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Robert M. Robinson
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Sri International
Menlo Park
United States
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