Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 4, 1–6, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-4-1-2013

Special issue: The history of ionospheric radars

Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 4, 1–6, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-4-1-2013

  21 Feb 2013

21 Feb 2013

The Chatanika and Sondrestrom Radars – a brief history

M. A. McCready and C. J. Heinselman M. A. McCready and C. J. Heinselman
  • The Center for Geospace Studies, SRI International, Menlo Park, California, USA

Abstract. The Sondrestrom upper atmospheric research facility, located just north of the Arctic Circle near the west coast of Greenland, will soon celebrate 30 yr of operations. The centerpiece of the facility, an incoherent scatter radar, has collected 46 000 h of data on the ionospheric state parameters. This instrument was designed and built to measure the effects of nuclear bombs on radio wave propagation in the South Pacific, but instead was deployed to Alaska to study the effects of auroral structuring on the ionosphere, and was later moved to Greenland to explore the auroral cusp and the dynamics of the polar cap boundary. This is the story of the birth and genesis of the instrument, its travels, and the evolution of its facility.