Research infrastructure

Materials science, neutron and synchrotron light

Research infrastructure

Materials science, neutron and synchrotron light

EISCAT (EISCAT-3D) – European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association

International infrastructure for research into aurora borealis, plasma physics and atmospheric physics. Coordinated from Kiruna.

Sweden hosts the international organisation EISCAT Scientific Association, based in Kiruna. The facility has been developed for research into aurora borealis, plasma physics and atmospheric physics, but is also used for research into areas such as meteorites, space safety and radio astronomy. By using a radar system with a powerful transmitter together with very sensitive receptors in three locations in arctic Scandinavia and Finland, EISCAT is the only research facility that can provide full vector information about phenomena in the atmosphere and near space.

The existing EISCAT radar system in northern Scandinavia and Finland, which became operational in 1981, will be phased out and replaced by EISCAT-3D. EISCAT-3D is based on the same fundamental principles as EISCAT, and will provide the same opportunities, but with many time higher spatial and time resolution, at the same time as a change is made from sweeping a line through space to making simultaneous observations over large volumes.

Together with funding bodies from Norway, Finland, United Kingdom and, to a smaller extent, Japan and the EU Commission, the Swedish Research Council supports the construction of EISCAT-3D. The new radar system is expected to be ready to become operational in 2021, and will then consist of a transmitter/receiver station in Norway and two receiver stations; one in Finland and one in Sweden.

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