On June 26th 2017 students from the Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies had the opportunity to visit and learn about the Saskatoon SuperDARN radar, and the SuperDARN project in general.
We started out by talking about the electronics that power the radar, and then discussed the antennas and towers, and fielded questions that the students had.
Finally we visited the handprints in the concrete base of one of the main array antennas of the student crew that built the radar in the early 1990's!
Here's a picture from the end of the day:
From left to right: Marci, Donovan, Randi, Pasha, Valentin, Maksym, Clayton, William, Peter, Kevin
On June 22nd SuperDARN Canada engineers Marci Detwiller, Keith Kotyk, and Kevin Krieger along with Devin Huyghebaert - a P.hD student building a new E-Region radar - attended aerial lift platform training at Cervus Equipment in Saskatoon. It was informative and fun, involving a few hours of classroom time with a written test, and then a practical session where the students got to drive one of two boom lifts. The training will be used when building Devin Huyghebaert and Glenn Hussey's new E-Region radar near Prelate, SK, as well as for maintenance on the Bakker farm site and Kernen farm site antennas. Here's a picture of Devin and Keith using an 80ft lift in the rain!
Devin Huyghebaert, one of the Ph.D students in ISAS, is working on a new E-region radar. Here is the fourth quarterly newsletter for the ICEBEAR radar! (PDF) ICEBEAR newsletter July 2017
Devin Huyghebaert, one of the Ph.D students in ISAS, is working on a new E-region radar. Here is the third quarterly newsletter for the ICEBEAR radar! (PDF) ICEBEAR newsletter April 2017
Devin Huyghebaert, one of the Ph.D students in ISAS, is working on a new E-region radar. Here is the second quarterly newsletter for the ICEBEAR radar! (PDF) ICEBEAR newsletter January 2017
Devin Huyghebaert, one of the Ph.D students in ISAS, is working on a new E-region radar. Here is the first quarterly newsletter for the ICEBEAR radar! (PDF) ICEBEAR newsletter October 2016
Following their maintenance trip to Clyde River, the engineers Marci Detwiller and Kevin Krieger traveled directly to Rankin Inlet (layover in Iqaluit) and met up with our third engineer, Keith Kotyk. From July 5th until July 21st they performed maintenance on the ropes, towers, antennas and electronics at Rankin Inlet. Over 4000 feet of rope was replaced.
Some other tasks performed:
- Upgraded computers to new industrial rated rack mount computers
- Installed firewall on a new network switch
- Repaired and reinforced cable tray
- Fixed several transmitters
- Installed heater relay board and temperature sensors to monitor and control building temperature
- UAV flights for aerial photography
In addition, one of the two SuperDARN Canada PIs, Kathryn McWilliams, traveled to Rankin Inlet near the end of the maintenance trip to meet with the Rankin inlet Municipality and gave an update on the SuperDARN project.
See some photos below:
The SuperDARN team at the big Inukshuk in Rankin Inlet. Left to Right: Kathryn McWilliams, Marci Detwiller, Kevin Krieger, Keith Kotyk.
Here is a wide shot of the Rankin Inlet radar from the south. You can see the road leading to the site on the left, the main array at the top and the interferometer at the bottom. The seacan with electronics is red and can be seen in the mid-top of the photo.
Here is a photo showing the main array and the seacan in the left background. The UAV landing zone can be seen on the left in the foreground, it is a piece of plywood. Avoiding landing and taking off from the tundra is necessary.
During the week of June 27th – July 4th, our engineers Marci Detwiller and Kevin Krieger traveled to Clyde River, NU to do some maintenance on the antenna system and radar electronics.
Among the tasks performed:
- Checking all antennas
- Fixing the 15km range gate problem with the transmitters
- Replacing a network switch and configuring it with a firewall
- Testing all electronics and calibrating transmitters
- UAV flights for aerial photography
- Fixing the cable tray
Some of the photos taken are below:
A wide view of the Clyde River SuperDARN radar. Patricia bay is in the far background, with the airport and runway visible between the bay and the radar.
Close up view of Patricia bay, with Clyde River on the right, and the airport runway in the foreground.
A view of the Clyde River seacans at the end of July 2016. Notice the snow pattern due to the prevailing winds. Main array is on the left side of the picture.
At the SuperDARN workshop in Leceister in May 2015, the UK teams from Leicester and Lancaster announced that they will be building a new SuperDARN radar in Southern France near Toulouse. Coverage in the mid-latitude region (~40 degrees) in North America, China, and Japan is excellent, but has been lacking Europe. The new French radar will provide some much needed mid-latitude coverage in Europe!
SuperDARN Canada was asked to build the antennas for the new French radar. Over the last several months, our engineers have been busy with this task (as well as all of the other tasks they normally have to do). With some help from a local Saskatoon company, Scientific Instrumentation Ltd., the antennas and their components are now completed and shipping is about to take place! We are all looking forward seeing the data from the French radar after it has been completed.