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Jones Seminar: Bistatic Measurements with Ground-Based Radars for Studying the Ionosphere

Simon Shepherd, Associate Professor of Engineering, Dartmouth

Friday, September 18, 2020, 3:30–4:30pm


Zoom link:

A particular type of scientific radar system has been developed and used over the past few decades which is capable of measuring the Doppler motion of the plasma in the ionosphere over a large region of Earth's polar regions. A network of these types of radars known as the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is operated by an international collaboration of scientists.

Recently a new capability was developed in which two SuperDARN radars operated in a bistatic manner, that is, signals transmitted from one radar propagated through the ionosphere and were received and analyzed by another radar located over 1000 km away. During bistatic operations conducted with SuperDARN radars located in Oregon and Kansas during recent campaigns, several distinct modes of propagation were observed.

In this talk professor Shepherd will describe the basics of the radars he operates for his research, focusing on the recent bistatic capability he helped develop and how this research is incorporated into the classes that he teaches at Thayer.

About the Speaker

Simon Shepherd poses with a SuperDARN radar array
Professor Simon Shepherd
poses with a SuperDARN radar array in Oregon.

Professor Shepherd attended Middlebury College studying physics and graduating with honors, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He received a masters degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington before returning to physics at Dartmouth where he received a PhD for ground-based studies of passive radio waves in the auroral region. As a postdoc and staff scientist at JHU/APL, Dr. Shepherd worked with SuperDARN HF radars, traveling to sites for maintenance, developing new analysis tools and publishing studies of the ionosphere and magnetosphere using data from the radars. Professor Shepherd returned to Dartmouth in 2001 where he has taught courses in the physics department and at Thayer School, and continued research with SuperDARN radars building a facility in Oregon hosting two radars in 2010 and another site in Iceland (currently under construction). He grew up in River Falls, Wisconsin attending public high school where he ran cross country and enjoyed Nordic skiing. He now lives in Pomfret, VT where he has raised his two children.

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