News

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.

Project meetings

A number of internal project meetings and technical meetings took place during the duration of the project, notably the “All Hands” meetings of 2011 and 2012 and “end of the project meeting all-hands meeting” on 11 -12 September 2014. A “Small Hands” meeting was organized in 2013, which was restricted to discussing the technical work packages only. The meeting was open for all project participants and also EISCAT staff from all sites participated. The EISCAT director and the EISCAT staff also convened several “technical telecons” to speed up progress and improve coordination among the technical work packages.  They proved to be very valuable, though in retrospect they should have started earlier and have been made on a more regular basis. The project also held two public presentations.

A public presentation of the EISCAT_3D project took place at the start of the preparatory phase and another one took place on 12 September 2014 at Rymdcampus in Kiruna. The agenda included the following presentations:

  • EISCAT_3D: the next generation incoherent scatter radar for scientific research (Craig Heinselman, EISCAT)
  • EISCAT_3D: Arctic Research Infrastructure for Geospace Environment and Atmosphere (Esa Turunen, SGO)
  • EISCAT_3D: the view from Swedish Institute of Space Physics (Lars Eliasson, IRF)
  • EISCAT_3D in Norway (Cesar La Hoz, UiT)
  • EISCAT_3D and the e-infrastructure challenges (Jacko Koster, SNIC)

The EISCAT_3D users meetings have been held every May in Uppsala, concentrating on different science issues. They have been highly successful and provided a focus for the prospective user community to receive information on the project and contribute their ideas. There is an agreement within the user community to continue these annual meetings after the end of the Preparatory Phase Project.

Work of project committees

EISCAT_3D General Assembly (GA): GA is the ultimate decision-making body of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase consortium. It consists of one representative from each of the participating entities and two representatives from the Coordinator (EISCAT). Members are:

  • Esa Turunen (EISCAT Scientific Association) (until 12/2012)
  • Craig Heinselman (EISCAT Scientific Association) (since 01/2013
  • Henrik Andersson (EISCAT Scientific Association)
  • Cesar La Hoz (Universitetet i Tromsø)
  • Jerker Delsing (Luleå Tekniska Universitet)
  • Lars Eliasson (Institutet för Rymdfysik)
  • Anita Aikio (Oulun Yliopisto)
  • Tomas Andersson, (Vetenskapsrådet)
  • Leif Johansson (National Instruments)
  • Richard Harrison (Science & Techn. Facil. Council Rutherford Appleton Lab.)
  • Jacko Koster (Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, SNIC) since 2013

The EISCAT_3D_2 General Assembly had 8 meetings during the project.

EISCAT_3D Executive Board: The Executive Board acts as the supervisory body for the execution of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. The Executive Board prepares meetings, proposes decisions and prepares the agenda of the General Assembly. It seeks a consensus among the members of the consortium, is responsible for the proper execution and implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly and it monitors the effective and efficient implementation of EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. The members of the EISCAT_3D Executive Board are:

  • Esa Turunen (EISCAT Scientific Association) (until 12/2012)
  • Craig Heinselman (EISCAT Scientific Association) (since 01/2013)
  • Henrik Andersson (EISCAT Scientific Association)
  • Jonny Johansson (Luleå Tekniska Universitet)
  • Unni Pia Løvhaug (Universitetet i Tromsø) (since 01/2013)
  • Ingrid Mann (EISCAT Scientific Association) (since 01/2013)
  • Ian McCrea (STFC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)
  • Thomas Ulich (Oulun Yliopisto/Sodankylän Geofysiikan Observatorio)

Initially the EISCAT_3D Executive Board had teleconferences every week and physical meetings every 3 months. Since beginning of 2013 the teleconference were normally scheduled every second week and only more often, if needed, and some of the discussions were moved to more targeted technical meetings.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is the monitoring body for the technical execution of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. It consists of a Technical Coordinator, appointed by the Coordinator, and up to four other members. TAC receives and reviews reports from each work package leader describing the technical progress of his/her work package and the upcoming plans. It reviews and assesses the levels of existing and planned technical coordination between the various work packages of the project as well as the levels of existing and planned technical coordination between the various project partners, including their sub-contractors and affiliated entities. It also provides regular feedback to each work package leader, assessing the progress of each work package, the interactions between the work packages and the project participants, and makes recommendations for future actions. The members of the Technical Advisory Committee are:

  • Jan-Geralt Bij de Vaate (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Dwingeloo, The Netherlands)
  • Tom Grydeland (Northern Research Institute (NORUT), Tromsø, Norway)
  • Frank Lind (MIT Haystack Observatory, United States, Technical Coordinator and Chairman of TAC)
  • Werner Singer (Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Kühlungsborn, Germany)

The Technical Advisory Committee has held one regular meeting in 2011, but this proved to be the only meeting of this kind. While the TAC chair provided many useful insights and suggestions, a tighter definition of his role might have made the TAC a more effective review body. The project suggests EISCAT take some measures to set up a technical review during the coming few months.

Project overview

Project period
1. October 2010 – 30. September 2014
Project funds from EC
4 495 227.62 €
Spend by 30 June 2014
3 924 697.63 € (87.31%)

This report describes the outcome of the project as it can be evaluated in October 2014 with the caveat that the reporting is not finalized yet. A major project revision took place in the beginning of 2013 and was reported to Council previously. At that time the descriptions of the work packages were revised and funding allocations modified. All project deliverables have been submitted to EC by 30. September 2014. The EISCAT_3D_2 periodic report 3 for the period October 2013 - September 2014 and the EISCAT_3D_2 final report still need to be prepared within 60/90 days after the end of the project. Based on the numbers as of 30. June 2014 all but one partner were with their spending within their budget limits.

Project partners: The participants are University of Oulu (UOULU), Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), University of Tromsø ( UiT), Science and Technology Facilities Council in the United Kingdom (STFC), the Swedish Research Council (VR), National Instruments (NI) and EISCAT Scientific Association (EISCAT) as the project coordinator. Because of a modification of the SNIC organizational structure, Uppsala University (UU) joint the project as a partner in 2013 in its role as host of the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC). SNIC worked together with Umeå University as a third party of UU.

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