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  1. Abstract

    This paper investigates the lower‐to‐upper atmosphere coupling at high latitudes (>60°N) during the northern winter months of 2012–2013 years, which includes a period of major Sudden “Stratospheric” Warming (SSW). We perform statistical analysis of thermosphere wind disturbances with periods of 30–70 min, known as the medium scale traveling atmospheric disturbances (MSTADs) in atomic oxygen green line (557.7 nm) near ∼120 km and red line (630.0 nm) emissions near ∼250 km observed from Scanning Doppler Imagers (SDIs) over Alaska. The SDI MSTADs observations (60°–75°N) are interpreted in conjunction with the previous daytime medium‐scale traveling ionospheric disturbance (MSTID) observations by SuperDARN midlatitudes (35°–65°N) radars in theF‐region ionosphere and western hemisphere, which confirm findings from the SDI instruments. Increases in MSTAD activity from SDIs show correlations with the increasing meridional planetary wave (PW) amplitudes in the stratosphere derived from MERRA2 winds. Furthermore, a detailed study of the lower atmospheric conditions from MERRA2 winds indicates that the lower atmospheric sources of MSTADs are likely due to the stratospheric generated Gravity Waves (GWs) and not orographic GWs. Favorable stratospheric propagation conditions and polar vortex disturbances resulting from the increased PW activity in the stratospheric region both appear to contribute to increased MSTAD activity in the thermosphere. Additionally, the results show that the MSTID activity from SuperDARN HF radars at mid latitudes during the January 2013 SSW is lower than the MSTAD activity in SDI winds at high latitudes.

     
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  2. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of high frequency coherent scatter radars that are used for monitoring the electrodynamics of the Earth’s upper atmosphere at middle, high, and polar latitudes in both hemispheres. pyDARN is an open-source Python-based library developed specifically for visualizing SuperDARN radar data products. It provides various plotting functions of different types of SuperDARN data, including time series plot, range-time parameter plot, fields of view, full scan, and global convection map plots. In this paper, we review the different types of SuperDARN data products, pyDARN’s development history and goals, the current implementation of pyDARN, and various plotting and analysis functionalities. We also discuss applications of pyDARN, how it can be combined with other existing Python software for scientific analysis, challenges for pyDARN development and future plans. Examples showing how to read, visualize, and interpret different SuperDARN data products using pyDARN are provided as a Jupyter notebook. 
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  3. David Carlson (Ed.)

    Abstract. Ionospheric variability produces measurable effects in Doppler shift of HF (high-frequency, 3–30 MHz) skywave signals. These effects are straightforward to measure with low-cost equipment and are conducive to citizen science campaigns. The low-cost Personal Space Weather Station (PSWS) network is a modular network of community-maintained, open-source receivers, which measure Doppler shift in the precise carrier signals of time standard stations. The primary goal of this paper is to explain the types of measurements this instrument can make and some of its use cases, demonstrating its role as the building block for a large-scale ionospheric and HF propagation measurement network which complements existing professional networks. Here, data from the PSWS network are presented for a period of time spanning late 2019 to early 2022. Software tools for the visualization and analysis of this living dataset are also discussed and provided. These tools are robust to data interruptions and to the addition, removal or modification of stations, allowing both short- and long-term visualization at higher density and faster cadence than other methods. These data may be used to supplement observations made with other geospace instruments in event-based analyses, e.g., traveling ionospheric disturbances and solar flares, and to assess the accuracy of the bottomside estimates of ionospheric models by comparing the oblique paths obtained by ionospheric ray tracers with those obtained by these receivers. The data are archived at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6622111 (Collins, 2022).

     
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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2024
  6. As part of an effort to observe and study ionospheric disturbances and their effects on radio signals used by Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), alternative low-cost GNSS-based ionospheric scintillation and total electron content (TEC) monitors have been deployed over the American sector. During an inspection of the observations made on 28 August 2022, we found increases in the amplitude scintillation index (S4) reported by the monitors for the period between approximately 17:45 UT and 18:20 UT. The distributed, dual-frequency observations made by the sensors allowed us to determine that the increases in S4were not caused by ionospheric irregularities. Instead, they resulted from Carrier-to-Noise (C/No) variations caused by a solar radio burst (SRB) event that followed the occurrence of two M-class X-ray solar flares and a Halo coronal mass ejection. The measurements also allowed us to quantify the impact of the SRB on GNSS signals. The observations show that the SRB caused maximum C/No fadings of about 8 dB-Hz (12 dB-Hz) on L1 ~ 1.6 GHz (L2 ~ 1.2 GHz) for signals observed by the monitor in Dallas for which the solar zenith angle was minimum (~24.4°) during the SRB. Calculations using observations made by the distributed monitors also show excellent agreement for estimates of the maximum (vertical equivalent) C/No fadings in both L1 and L2. The calculations show maximum fadings of 9 dB-Hz for L1 and of 13 dB-Hz for L2. Finally, the results exemplify the usefulness of low-cost monitors for studies beyond those associated with ionospheric irregularities and scintillation.

     
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  7. The objective of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) Personal Space Weather Station (PSWS) project is to develop a distributed array of ground-based multi-instrument nodes capable of remote sensing the geospace system. This system is being designed with the intention of distribution to a large number of amateur radio and citizen science observers. This will create an unprecedented opportunity to probe the ionosphere at finer resolution in both time and space as all measurements will be collected into a central database for coordinated analysis. Individual nodes are being designed to service the needs of the professional space science researcher while being cost-accessible and of interest to amateur radio operators and citizen scientists. At the heart of the HamSCI PSWS will be a high performance 0.1–60 MHz software defined radio (SDR) [1] with GNSS-based precision timestamping and frequency reference. This SDR is known as the TangerineSDR and is being developed by the Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) amateur radio organization. The primary objective of PSWS system is to gather observations to understand the short term and small spatial scale ionospheric variabilities in the ionosphere-thermosphere system. These variabilities are important for understanding a variety of geophysical phenomena such as Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs) [2], Ionospheric absorption events, geomagnetic storms and substorms. We present early results suggesting signature of Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs) from an ionospheric sounding mode that we intend to implement on the PSWS system, currently implemented on an Ettus N200 Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) using the open source GNU Chirpsounder data collection and analysis code. 
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  8. Benoit Lavraud (Ed.)
    The amateur radio community is a global, highly engaged, and technical community with an intense interest in space weather, its underlying physics, and how it impacts radio communications. The large-scale observational capabilities of distributed instrumentation fielded by amateur radio operators and radio science enthusiasts offers a tremendous opportunity to advance the fields of heliophysics, radio science, and space weather. Well-established amateur radio networks like the RBN, WSPRNet, and PSKReporter already provide rich, ever-growing, long-term data of bottomside ionospheric observations. Up-and-coming purpose-built citizen science networks, and their associated novel instruments, offer opportunities for citizen scientists, professional researchers, and industry to field networks for specific science questions and operational needs. Here, we discuss the scientific and technical capabilities of the global amateur radio community, review methods of collaboration between the amateur radio and professional scientific community, and review recent peer-reviewed studies that have made use of amateur radio data and methods. Finally, we present recommendations submitted to the U.S. National Academy of Science Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) 2024–2033 for using amateur radio to further advance heliophysics and for fostering deeper collaborations between the professional science and amateur radio communities. Technical recommendations include increasing support for distributed instrumentation fielded by amateur radio operators and citizen scientists, developing novel transmissions of RF signals that can be used in citizen science experiments, developing new amateur radio modes that simultaneously allow for communications and ionospheric sounding, and formally incorporating the amateur radio community and its observational assets into the Space Weather R2O2R framework. Collaborative recommendations include allocating resources for amateur radio citizen science research projects and activities, developing amateur radio research and educational activities in collaboration with leading organizations within the amateur radio community, facilitating communication and collegiality between professional researchers and amateurs, ensuring that proposed projects are of a mutual benefit to both the professional research and amateur radio communities, and working towards diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 16, 2024