CAREER: A Cognitive VHF Radar System Approach to Study Ionospheric Irregularities

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project is to build, test, and deploy a new coherent imaging radar system at Huancayo Observatory in Peru that will enable continuous monitoring of the plasma structuring in the equatorial ionosphere. The new VHF (very high frequency) radar, operating at 50 MHz, will utilize cognitive sensing techniques in order to allow the radar to respond dynamically to the sensed environment by changing operating modes to optimize the received signal. The radar system will complement upper atmospheric sensing instrumentation currently deployed at Huancayo as well as the nearby incoherent scatter radar system at Jicamarca Radio Observatory. The ionospheric observations acquired by the new radar will be used to address several questions regarding climatological dependencies of the generation and evolution of equatorial plasma irregularities. Several graduate and undergraduate students will be involved in the design, installation, and operation of the radar hardware. The proposed implementation of cognitive radar technology is potentially transformative for upper atmospheric remote sensing, and this topic will be the focus of new graduate curriculum development at the host institution. In addition, several aspects of radar engineering and data analysis will be incorporated into an existing undergraduate seminar course. The project will further promote international collaboration between the US and Peru.

Effective start/end date3/1/112/28/18


  • National Science Foundation: $567,879.00


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