CEDAR email: Student awards for travel to Alaska to study magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling

Roman Makarevich r.makarevich at gi.alaska.edu
Wed Oct 16 14:09:42 MDT 2013

Apply today for student awards to travel to Alaska in November-December 2013
to participate in the NSF-sponsored collaborative research project to study
the magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling at high latitudes. 

AWARDS: Several awards of up to $2,500 are available to student
investigators to take part in the campaign from November 25 to December 8,
2013. The travel awards will be based upon the experiment proposal the
students submit with their applications.

PROJECT SUMMARY: This coordinated campaign of observations and modeling will
involve the Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar (PFISR), the Resolute Bay
Incoherent Scatter Radar (RISR), a variety of optical instruments, the Super
Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), the Homer Very High Frequency (VHF)
radar, and the Global Ionospheric-Thermospheric Model (GITM). The
ionosphere, thermosphere, and magnetosphere comprise a tightly coupled
system at high latitudes. The ionosphere is the mediating element in this
view, facilitating the transfer of free energy generated by solar
wind-magnetosphere coupling into heat and bulk motion of the neutral
atmosphere. This mediation occurs through electric fields, particle
precipitation, diffusion, and field-aligned currents, agents that act
collectively to structure the plasma density and composition within the
system. Although elements of this system have been studied in considerable
detail, their nonlinear interactions, and the global implications of these
regional processes, remains poorly understood and inadequately observed. The
electronic steering capability of PFISR offers a unique diagnostic to fill
this gap. Using a dense grid of beams, a three-dimensional, time dependent
view of the ion-neutral interactions can be developed. These results, in
coordination with observations by common volume optical, and VHF and HF
radar observations, allow access to system dynamics and system responses
which were previously unobservable. The experimental campaign, involving
twenty researchers from nine institutions, will be carried out over two
winter seasons. The results will be used to address fundamental questions of
the physics of the upper atmosphere and its coupling to the magnetosphere
and the lower atmosphere, which have remained obscured for lack of key data.
As a result, although it is understood that small-scale processes play
critically important roles in this coupling, they have been difficult to
include in quantitative models. The new information will be implemented in
the GITM model validating the new understanding of the coupled
magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, and thereby providing enhanced
simulation capabilities. 

SELECTION CRITERIA: The basis for selection will be the proposals submitted.
Applications will be ranked according to merit. Credit will be given for
investigations with a well-defined question to be answered, a plan which
offers a good chance of substantial results using the observations to be
made during the campaign, and a potential to complement the project's goals
as described above. 

APPLICATION: To apply, send your CV, a short letter of support from your
research advisor, and a 150-word experiment proposal to Dr. Roman Makarevich
at r.makarevich at gi.alaska.edu. Review of applications will begin

LOGISTICS: Students will be responsible for organizing their travel and
conducting their proposed experiments in Alaska. Travel expenses of up to
$2,500 will be reimbursed after the trip. The UAF travel authorization form
will need to be submitted before the trip.

Dr Roman Makarevich
Associate Professor of Physics
Geophysical Institute UAF
903 Koyukuk Drive, PO Box 757320
Fairbanks AK 99775-7320

Phone: +1-907-474-7075
Email: r.makarevich at gi.alaska.edu

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