July 26, 2015
By Suzanne Maher
Description of EISCAT
EISCAT, the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association, is established to conduct research on the lower, middle and upper atmosphere and ionosphere using the incoherent scatter radar technique. This technique is the most powerful ground-based tool for these research applications. EISCAT is also being used as a coherent scatter radar for studying instabilities in the ionosphere, as well as for investigating the structure and dynamics of the middle atmosphere and as a diagnostic instrument in ionospheric modification experiments with the Heating facility.
There are ten incoherent scatter radars in the world, and EISCAT operates three of the highest-standard facilities. The experimental sites of EISCAT are located in the Scandinavian sector, north of the Arctic Circle. They consist of two independent radar systems on the mainland, together with a further radar constructed on the island of Spitzbergen in the Svalbard archipelago – the EISCAT Svalbard Radar – Scandinavia.
The investments and operational costs of EISCAT are shared between:
•China Research Institute of Radiowave Propagation, People’s Republic of China
•National Institute of Polar Research, Japan
•Natural Environment Research Council, United Kingdom
•Norges forskningsrad, Norway
•Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Japan
•Suomen Akatemia, Finland