Why do we do it?

SuperDARN UK provides national capability, blue-skies research, and applied science in the area of Earth-oriented solar-terrestrial physics through a broad UK user community, mostly supported by the Natural Environment Research Council.

SuperDARN has delivered many advances in this field in the last decade or more and the UK has been a leading player. A recent review can be found here. Since year 2000, over 287 papers have been published using SuperDARN data and with a UK author.

Key current topics include:

  1. Natural variability, trends, and extremes of the upper atmosphere and solar variability.
  2. Upper atmosphere and solar influences on the lower atmosphere and climate.
  3. Assimilation of upper atmosphere data into numerical weather prediction and climate models.
  4. Upper atmosphere, solar, and space influences on technology and resources.
  5. Assimilation of upper atmosphere data into numerical space weather prediction and natural hazard models.

In particular, SuperDARN provides unique capability to address two new strategic science goals:

  • A better understanding of the nonlinear influences of the upper atmosphere and space on weather and climate, leading to a vertical extension of UK numerical weather prediction and climate models to improve skill and reduce uncertainty on hour to decadal time scales [more].
  • Improved assessment and prediction of upper atmospheric hazards to satellite navigation and radio communications [more].

In the UK, SuperDARN has also provided resource material for STEM-related teaching in the classroom, and training and research opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates leading to 2 Masters and 24 Doctoral degrees since 1991.