PolarDARN (The northern hemisphere polar portion of the international SuperDARN (Super Dual Auroral Radar Network) program).

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, magnetic field, aurora borealis, radar network

Principal Investigator: Sofko, George J (9)
Licence Number: 14632
Organization: University of Saskatchwan
Licenced Year(s): 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2004
Issued: Feb 04, 2010

Objective(s): The radar network is designed to measure voltage patterns several hundred kilometers above the ground, as these patterns project out into space along the Earth's magnetic field lines.

Project Description: Just as high and low pressure systems drive normal weather, high and low voltages drive space weather. The radar network is designed to measure these voltage patterns several hundred kilometers above the ground, as these patterns project out into space along the Earth's magnetic field lines. This information is critical to personnel in space and to maintenance of the satellite telecommunications.

The radar installation requires transmitting and receiving electronics in a small building, and antennas outside. The radar requires a local Field Technical Support Officer (from the Aurora Research Institute) for routine checks and maintenance operations. University of Saskatchewan SuperDARN engineer, Jan Wiid, will make periodic trips to Inuvik to check the radar when problems arise that cannot be handled by the Aurora Research Institute personnel.

Local involvement includes delivery of all radar data and assessment of radar operating status through New North Networks in Inuvik. North Wind Industries is used for brush cutting and road maintenance (snow plowing). There is possible future involvement of Gwich'in students for summer work (preliminary conversations with Richard Nerysoo have taken place). Lease rates for the land on which the radar is located are paid to the town of Inuvik.

The researchers hope to work with Gwich'in students, some of whom already attend the U of Sask. College of Education. They are also willing to provide seminars and talks in the NWT. All scientific publications resulting from the project will be made available to the Aurora Research Institute. The Inuvik PolarDARN radar has been in operation one full year now and although there are several papers in the process of being submitted, nothing has been published yet. The researchers expect to have these papers accepted and published in 2009.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 1 to December 31, 2010, in Inuvik (Lot 2, Block 107, Plan 4166 - 68º24’52”N, 133º46’11”W).