Deliverable 6.4: Annual status report on the Performance Specification activity

The integrated performance specification is kept under continuous review with regular iterations to incorporate developments in the other Work Packages. The current version of the document is posted annually as a deliverable of Work Package 6.

In October 2012, the project summarised the current status of the Performance Specification in two tables describing the base-­line design and illustrating the performance of the baseline configuration.

The EISCAT_3D instrument will consist of 5 phased-array antenna fields for transmission (Tx) and reception (Rx) of 233 MHz radio waves. Total transmitted power at the core site will be 10 MW and at least one remote site will have transmission capability of about 1 MW. Digital control of the transmission and low-level digitization of the received signal will allow for instantaneous beam-swinging, and multiple simultaneous transmit and receive beams, without motion of mechanical structures. The sites will be equipped with smaller outlying antenna arrays that will facilitate aperture synthesis imaging to acquire sub-beam transverse spatial resolution. This will give the EISCAT_3D radar unmatched power agility and flexibility. The baseline design suggests a core site that will be located close to the intersection of the Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish borders and four receiving sites located within approximately 50 to 250 km from the core.

The EISCAT_3D concept permits continuous pre-scheduled operations and fast and automatic switching of observation modes. It offers advanced capabilities to study atmospheric phenomena on scales of hundreds of kilometers to hundreds of meters. Atmospheric monitoring at 70-1200 km altitude is only limited by power consumption and data storage.

To quantify the improvements in performance it is illuminating to compare the integration time required to obtain plasma parameter estimates with the same accuracy with the current UHF and the new EISCAT_3D systems. The larger total transmitter power is required for most of the new observation modes, since the new system has many new features that the current EISCAT instrument does not have. These measurement modes offer major advantages of EISCAT_3D also compared to other systems.

The base-line design, like the Performance Specification, will be updated following the progress of Work Package 6 as well as of other workpackages and based on the requirements imposed by the schedule for construction and funding.