THE STATION


The Sun spews out a constant stream of X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation. This energy, along with that from cosmic rays, affects the Earth's ionosphere, starting some 60 km above us. When solar energy or cosmic rays strike the ionosphere, electrons are stripped from their nuclei. This process is called ionizing, hence the name ionosphere. It is the free electrons in the ionosphere that have a strong influence on the propagation of radio signals. Radio frequencies of very long wavelength (very low frequency or “VLF”) “bounce” or reflect off these free electrons in the ionosphere thus, conveniently for us, allowing radio communication over the horizon and around our curved Earth. The strength of the received radio signal changes according to how much ionization has occurred and from which level of the ionosphere the VLF wave has “bounced.”



When the energy from a solar flare or other disturbance reaches the Earth, the ionosphere becomes suddenly more ionized, thus changing the density and location of its layers. Hence the term “Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance” (SID) to describe the changes we are monitoring and also the nickname of our space weather monitoring instrument, SID.

The ionosphere has several layers created at different altitudes and made up of different densities of ionization. Each layer has its own properties, and the existence and number of layers change daily under the influence of the Sun. During the day, the ionosphere is heavily ionized by the Sun. During the night hours the cosmic rays dominate because there is no ionization caused by the Sun (which has set below the horizon). Thus there is a daily cycle associated with the ionizations.

In addition to the daily fluctuations, activity on the Sun can cause dramatic sudden changes to the ionosphere. The Sun can unexpectedly erupt with a solar flare, a violent explosion in the Sun's atmosphere caused by huge magnetic activity. These sudden flares produce large amounts of X-rays and EUV energy, which travel to the Earth (and other planets) at the speed of light.

When the energy from a solar flare or other disturbance reaches the Earth, the ionosphere becomes suddenly more ionized, thus changing the density and location of its layers. Hence the term “Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance” (SID) to describe the changes we are monitoring and also the nickname of our space weather monitoring instrument, SID.

The station mainly deals some specific  research:

1. Collection, compilation of SIDs  through the continuous reception of RTTY signals in the VLF band    http://www.sidmonitor.net/gallery/station.html

2. Collection, compilation and correlation of meteors (METEORSCATTER), tropospheric unknown signals through the  doppler reflection  of the  the French radar Graves,
with possible correlations within the ELF / VLF band too . http://www.sidmonitor.net/gallery/station2.html

3. Monitoring the earth static  magnetic field through a Fluxgate FGM 03 magnetometer for geomagnetic storms and the
ICS 101 Induction Coil for project Opera ( www.vlf.it/opera_2015.htmlhttp://www.sidmonitor.net/gallery/station3.html

4. Collaborating in a international  solar spectrometer project , the e-Callisto , for various type of radio bursts  http://www.sidmonitor.net/gallery/callisto.html

5. Monitor Decametric Band using  amateur radiotelescopes http://www.sidmonitor.net/gallery/station.html

6. Conducting ELF research  at high altitude over the Alps. http://www.sidmonitor.net/extremelylowfreq/index.html

Special thanks to  Renato Romero ( www.vlf.it  )




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