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WP10: Aperture synthesis imaging radar

Lead: UiT
UiT 24 months

The major activity of this work package is the determination of the optimum number of outlying passive phased array antennas and their optimum localisation (antenna configuration) in order to fulfill the imaging (across-beam) spatial resolution criteria of the Aperture Synthesis Imaging.

WP10 was also a follow-on activity from the FP6 study and has been successfully finalized several months before the end of the project.

WP9: Transmitter development

Lead: IRF
IRF 30 months, EISCAT 4 months

In this work package, important parts of the EISCAT_3D radar transmitter subsystem are designed and evaluated. These particular areas of the transmitter design were planned to be addressed already during the FP6 Design Study were left unfinished because of a lack of manpower and time.

WP9 was intended to be a limited activity, following up on work done in the FP6 design study. The work has been finalized more than a year ago.

WP8: Antenna, front end and time synchronization

Lead: LTU
LTU 48 months, NI 2 months

The antennas, array layout, receiver front end, and calibration system all play important roles in setting the achievable system performance. The objective of this work package is to produce designs of these hardware elements which will be suitable for industrial consideration, and to identify the people who are capable of constructing them.

WP8 outcome is in good shape, with a good design and working prototypes being tested. The work that involved SMEs and resulted in prototyping carried out in WP14.

WP7: Digital signal processing

Lead: UOULU
UOULO 22.3 months, NI 10 months

In this work package, the techniques of signal processing using software-defined radio (SDR) receiver systems is developed to be suitable for parallel processing of signals from a phased array radar. The development is done via laboratory set-ups of hardware and software, followed by a field trial of the developed units, to establish their reliability and performance. 

WP7 has suffered from organisational and intellectual property problems and delays in the planned field testing. They were only carried out during the last months of the project. Part of the delay is caused by revisiting some fundamental design issues (such as the concept of a locally bistatic system) which, in hindsight, proved to be unnecessary.

WP5: Consortium building

Lead: EISCAT
EISCAT 21 months, UiT 6 months, VR 4 months

In this work package, the consortium of funding bodies which will support the new infrastructure is identified, a firm overview of the costs of constructing and operating the new infrastructure is obtained and confronted to the commitments available, and the organisational structure of EISCAT is re-examined, in order to verify whether the new consortium can be accommodated.

WP5 was successful in identifying some potential new partners and especially in co-ordinating the existing partners into a consortium to fund the project. Five countries are now preparing coordinated funding proposals and their national applications are at various stages in the review process. The work package also established the path of dialogues with e-infrastructure stakeholders and with other European research infrastructures. The effort needed to support national funding applications in the membership countries was underestimated by far and the activities were partly funded outside of the project.

WP4: Outreach activities

Lead: EISCAT
EISCAT 24 months

In order for EISCAT_3D to be successful, it is imperative that the project should establish and maintain a strong outreach activity, addressing the provision of publicity information to the general public, opinion-formers, and particularly aiming at the students and young people who will form the next generation of EISCAT users.

WP4 has probably originally been underestimated in terms of the work required. The outreach to opinion formers and decision makers turned out to be more important than originally thought and especially more time-consuming. Nonetheless, this work package has been generally successful and has gone smoothly.

WP3: Science planning and user engagement

Lead: UOULU
UOULU 16 months, STFC 11 months, EISCAT 2 months

This work package covers all those activities needed to engage with the new users whose activities will come within the scope of the enhanced facility. More than simply contacting new users, a key activity will be gathering their requirements for the science topics that they will address, and the different types of new experiment which they would like to run. Work package 3 started at the beginning of the project and continued until July 2014.

The WP organized a number of meetings with Science Working Groups on specific topics and user engagement workshops and participated in the organization of the EISCAT_3D User meetings that the project organized every year. A meeting together with representatives for the technical Work packages in the project in early 2013 resulted in a detailed list of requirements on the radar system from the scientific point of view. In addition to the different research areas addressed with EISCAT_3D the meetings also were devoted to discussion with the space weather and modeling communities and to discussions on using EISCAT_3D in combination with other instruments.

The WP3 has been a demanding project because it needed to cover all potential uses of the new radar.  The outcome is a voluminous science case document and a number of contacts with new user groups. The work package has gone smoothly.

WP2: Legal and logistical issues

Lead: EISCAT
EISCAT 10.5 months, UiT 6 months

This work package contains all the support activities needed to clarify the site selection and infrastructure issues needed for the construction and operation of EISCAT_3D. These are required activities are: Finalising the site selection, and identifying all the relevant stakeholders and administrative issues, which have to be addressed in order to allow construction to start at the selected sites. Identifying the necessary steps to provide access to relevant infrastructure (power, utilities, networking, transport) at the selected sites. Quantifying the full costs of each site development.

WP 2 activities started at the beginning of the project and continued until July 2014. Site surveys were performed at several possible EISCAT_3D sites already during the FP6 Design Study and these were revisited and some new sites surveyed. The list of potential sites was finalised during the summer of 2013. An area near Skibotn in Norway has been found as a suitable location for the core site from scientific point of view. An area near Bergfors in Sweden has been identified as suitable for the first receiver site. Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) measurements have been conducted in Skibotn and Bergfors during the summer of 2013. For the later stages of the construction, areas near Inari (Finland), Jokkmokk (Sweden) and Andøya (Norway) were initially identified as locations for receiver sites.

The Norwegian and Swedish proposal efforts have received some feedback to define several budget levels and implementation levels of the EISCAT_3D system and in response to that the project has prepared a plan for stage-wise implementation of EISCAT_3D with each stage having advanced system capabilities that are unique on an international level. Stage 1 will consist of sites in Skibotn, Bergfors, and Karesuvanto. The later stages include sites in Andøya and Jokknokk. While Karesuvanto was already considered as a possibility during the project, now closer site surveys were started there. The discussions with the local stakeholders at Skibotn and Bergfors have started regarding topics such as land rights, terms, conditions and environmental impacts. These discussions also include access to infrastructure such as roads, power and data networks. Tromsø University participated in the site discussion and established local contacts through a consultancy. The real negotiations cannot truly begin before there are firm decision on the site locations.

WP2 has undergone some changes in mid-project, with a revision of the scope to take out the site selection tasks, since it has been established that the sites could not be finally acquired until funding is assured and this decision would be made by Council, and not by the project. Also the frequency negotiations were removed from the project because of the uncertainties in the time line and because of their connection to decisions that are beyond the project. With these changes, the work package has gone smoothly.

WP1: Project management and reporting

Lead: EISCAT
EISCAT 16.9 months, UOULU 0.8 months, LTU 0.8 months, IRF 0.8 months, UiT 0.8 months, STFC 9 months, VR 0.8 months, NI 0.8 months, UU 0.6 months

The management work package runs throughout the Preparatory Phase, ensuring a smooth and efficient approach towards the objectives of the EISCAT_3D project, with respect to both financial management and general project administration.

WP1 has proceeded smoothly with no major problems. The meetings have usually been efficiently organised and overall the project is in good financial shape.

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