Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) High Frequency (HF) Radar Ground Scatter Data Set

Evan Thomas August 17, 2023

The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of up to several thousand kilometers. As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground/sea backscatter echoes.

This project analyzes historical and ongoing SuperDARN ground/sea backscatter data for comparison to sea ice measurements obtained from space-based microwave remote sensors. Improvements made in the detection and geolocation of SuperDARN ground/sea backscatter echoes have not only benefited studies of land/sea surface features in radar observations but also increased the quality of global space weather maps of ionospheric plasma convection. As a contributor to the Arctic Observing Network (AON) program, monthly files containing daily maps of ground/sea backscatter occurrence from 7 SuperDARN radars have been delivered to the National Science Foundation's Arctic Data Center and are available in NetCDF-format here.

The PI of this project is Simon Shepherd (Dartmouth College). For more information, please contact Evan Thomas at