World Day Schedule 2015

2015 Incoherent Scatter Coordinated Observation Days

URSI-ISWG [http://www.ursi.org]

Data collection on these Incoherent Scatter Coordinated Observation Days is to start no later than 1300 UT on the indicated day and stop not before 2000 UT the ending day. That means that an experiment scheduled for 1 day, actually runs for minimum 31 hours. Depending on local setups, it is recommended to extend the runs around the core hours to be sure to have the systems up at full power during the selected periods.

In the following table, columns 1 and 2 give the UT start dates of the experiments, column 3 lists the lengths of the experiments, column 4 shows the dates of new moon, and column 5 lists the experiment titles. See special notes associated with each World Day period.

2015 Incoherent Scatter Coordinated Observation Days

Starting Date
Length (days)
New Moon
15 Jan-15 Feb Alert
StratWarm / Gravity Wave Coupling
(see Note 1)
Solar Eclipse (see Note 2)
13-27 Alert
Meridional Circle (see Note 3)
Northern Deep Polar Winter

Note 1: The decision to start this 10-day run will be based on predictions of Sudden Stratospheric Warming. In the case of no SSW event, the World Day will revert to a 5-day run at the end of the alert period, 10-15 February. There should be five days' notice for the alert.

Note 2: In case of conflicting modes, this eclipse run has priority over the Meridional Circle campaign.

Note 3: The decision to start this alert-based run will be based on predicitions of magnetic disturbances. The alert should be announced five days before the start of the run.

Real-Time Data Links (when available)

Jicamarca Arecibo Millstone Hill
Sondrestrom PFISR RISR-N
EISCAT Kharkov Irkutsk
MU SuperDARN  

Send comments, questions and proposals for the World Day schedule to Ian McCrea and/or Emma Spanswick

World Day Facts

Establishing “World Day” schedules for coordinating the operations of the incoherent scatter radars around the world is one of the activities of the Incoherent Scatter Working Group (ISWG) of Commission G of URSI. These schedules are published yearly as part of the International Geophysical Calendar. Here are some of the facts about world days:

The World Day Schedule for 2014 can be found at WD2014.html

Procedures for requesting World Day experiments

Instructions and guidlines for submitting World Day proposals are available at: http://people.ece.cornell.edu/wes/URSI_ISWG/SampleWDproposal.htm, where you can also find a sample proposal.

Notes on World Day observations proposed for 2015

SUDDEN STRATOSPHERIC WARMING  (StratWarm): Dynamics, electrodynamics, temperature and electron density in the lower and upper thermosphere and ionosphere during sudden stratospheric warming

Key objectives:

Background condition: The observations need to be made before and during the sudden stratospheric warming. A 10-day campaign is requested.

Primary parameters to measure: LTCS mode - electron and ion temperatures from lowest possible altitudes throughout
the F-region, zonal and meridional components of the neutral wind in the lower thermosphere (95-140km), ExB drift,
F-region meridional wind. Temporal resolution can be sacrificed and data integration period increased in order to obtain data at lower altitudes.

Need for simultaneous data: The idea is to measure how variations in temperatures, electric field and winds associated with sudden stratospheric warming change with latitude and altitude and relate to variations in electron density.

Principal investigator: Larisa P. Goncharenko (MIT Haystack Observatory, USA), lpg@haystack.mit.edu. Larisa is responsible for issuing the alert and will provide five days' notice.

Co-investigators: Jorge Chau (Leibniz-Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Rostock University, Germany), Hanli Liu (NCAR, USA)


Key objectives: Allow the investigation of wave propagation into the thermosphere and potential coupling with winds and tides, as well as studying whether low-altitude generated gravity waves are important for scintillation patches and the generation of TIDs.

Conditions required: Quiet conditions to restrict contamination from geomagnetic effects.  Observations over several contiguous days in January are desired.  This request will be satisfied by the StratWarm run.

Principal investigator: Andrew Kavanagh (British Antarctic Survey, UK), andkav@bas.ac.uk


Key objective: To study the ionospheric response to a full solar eclipse.

Conditions required: The day of the eclipse, 20 March, plus a day or two of quiet conditions on either side of the eclipse.  This experiment has priority in case of conflict with the Merino world day run.

Principal investigators: Owen Roberts (Aberystwyth University, UK), owr6@aber.ac.uk; and Ingemar Häggström (EISCAT Scientific Association), ingemar@eiscat.se


Key objective: To determine the latitudinal variations and their east-west hemispheric differences during solar storms and/or under quiet magnetic conditions.

Need for simultaneous data: This coordinated observation involves ISR world day participants as well as the Chinese Meridian Project facilities. This major Chinese project provides comprehensive ground-based space weather observing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in particular along the 120E longitude where 15 observatories, including an ISR, distributed from northern China to the South Pole, are established. They are equipped with, among other instruments, ionospheric radio sensors (digisonds, GPS receivers, MF radars, coherent radars, etc) and optical sensors (Lidars, FPIs, all-sky imagers). For this campaign, intensive observational modes will be adopted for most of the instruments.

Principal investigator: Shunrong Zhang (MIT Haystack Observatory, USA), shunrong@haystack.mit.edu

Co-investigators: Guotao Yang and Zhaohui Huang (National Space Science Center, China), and John Foster (MIT Haystack Observatory, USA).

Time: Four days in the alert period from 13-27 March.  Shunrong will be responsible for issuing the alert notice, which will be at least five days in advance of the experiment start.  Please note, the Eclipse mode has priority in case of conflict.

Modes: Synoptic for all radars, except for Millstone Hill where low elevation azimuth scans are preferred.


Key objectives: Synoptic experiments are intended to emphasize wide coverage of the F region, with some augmented coverage of the topside or E region to fill in areas of the data bases that have relatively little data.

Investigators: Jan Sojka (Utah State University, USA) sojka@usu.edu; and Ian McCrea (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK), ian.mccrea@stfc.ac.uk


Key objectives: Because of the optical conditions near solstice, this is a unique opportunity to capitalize on northern high-latitude measurements by optical instruments. This could be a prime time to study: This period is historically in high demand at the high-latitude ISRs and the facilities will run modes that will satisfy the multiple investigators.

Conditions required: Operating the ISRs for four continuous days centered on the December New Moon should maximize the likelihood of the optical instruments getting good measurements during clear, dark skies.

Principal investigators: Herb Carlson (US Air Force Research Laboratories, USA), herbert.c.carlson@gmail.com; Yvonne Dåbakk (University of Alaska-Fairbanks, USA), y.r.dabakk@fys.uio.no; Hanna Dahlgren (Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Sweden), hannad@kth.se; K. Oksavik (University of Bergen, Norway), kjellmar.oksavik@uib.no; Joshua Semeter (Boston University, USA), jls@bu.edu; and Alan Wood (Nottingham Trent University, UK), alan.wood@ntu.ac.uk

Need for simultaneous data: Geomagnetic storms are known to impact the ionosphere on a global scale. Penetration electric fields occur at low latitudes, enhanced SAPS flows occur at mid-latitudes, the plasma flow is enhanced in the polar cap, and dense F-region plasma is transported from lower latitudes into and across the polar cap. Therefore, all radars should be operating at the same time.

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