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CoSTePA Correlated Solar-Terrestrial Polar Activities. E. Amata M. Candidi (1) , M.F. Marcucci (1) , S. Massetti (1) , P. Francia (3) , U. Villante (3). (1) Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), INAF, Rome, Italy

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Correlated Solar-TerrestrialPolar Activities

E. Amata

M. Candidi(1), M.F. Marcucci(1), S. Massetti(1),

P. Francia(3), U. Villante(3)

(1)Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), INAF, Rome, Italy

(3)Dipartimento di Fisica, Università dell’Aquila, l’Aquila, Italy


The study of the polar and auroral ionosphere and the related ground based measurements (radars, magnetometers, all sky cameras, riometers) is essential to achieve a better understanding of Sun-Earth relations

CoSTePA aims at:

- the installation (by January 2008) of two SuperDARN radars at Dome C, to complete the southern hemisphere SuperDARN MLT coverage of the auroral Ionosphere;

- the coordinated study of data from such radars, the italian all-sky camera at Terra Nova Bay, the italian ground magnetometers at Terra Nova Bay and Dome C, the two italian northern hemishere all sky cameras of Ny Alesund and Daneborg;

- the development of an italian national web portal with two main objectives:

1) support the data exchange in the national community, 2) provide an

education and outreach tool towards the public at large.


SuperDARN, All Sky Camera and ground magnetometer data are all relevant to both themes hereafter dealt with. Some examples are detailed, one per theme.

IPY theme 3.

The completion of the SuperDARN Southern hemisphere network will allow a better description of the auroral and polar ionospheric convection, aiming at the real time nowcasting of the cross polar cap potential.

IPY theme 5.

Entry mechanisms of upstream waves in the magnetosphere or/and local generation and propagation of ULF waves.

Monitoring of the position and extension of the cusp (seasonal, solar wind related effects).

Extension of magnetospheric substorms into the polar cap.


SuperDARN radars (ionospheric convection)

  • IFSI participation to the Kerguelen radar (PI J.-P. Villain, LPCE-CNRS);

- IFSI participation to the 2 Dome C radars (PI’s: E. Amata & J.-P. Villain).


IFSI runs the ITACA2 al sky cameras at Daneborg and

Ny Alesund

and the AURORA all sky camera (with ENEA) at MZS

The French- Italian Concordia base at DOME C (DMC)

CGM lat: 89°S; MLT=UT-08:55

The University of L’Aquila runs high resolution triaxial search-coil magnetometers with 1s sampling at Dome C and MZS.

The Italian Mario Zucchelli Station

at Terra Nova Bay (TNB)

CGM lat: 80°S; MLT=UT-08:11


The geomagnetic storm of October 2003 (maximum K index=9) as recorded by L’Aquila (AQU) and Mario Zucchelli Station (TNB) observatories.

For the same storm the panel on the left shows the arrival of two simultaneous wave packets at AQU and TNB related to the global oscillation modes of the magnetospheric cavity.


A comparison between TNB (80°) and DMC (89°):

power in the Pc3-4 range during November 16-22, 2003


Quiet days:

the power detected at TNB peaks around noon, when the station approaches the cusp, and does not appear at DMC, in the deep polar cap;

both DMC and TNB observations show a general trend for a power decrease with decreasing solar wind speed.

Storm days:

similar power enhancements appear at both stations (the cusp shifts at lower latitudes and also TNB stays in the deep cap);

enhancements correspond to solar wind density peaks.








De Lauretis et al., JGR, 2005


An example of SuperDARN ITACA2 coordinated study

Ny Alesund

Geographic (dotted lines) and Corrected Geo-Magnetic CGM (solid lines) coordinates


Geographic (black) and Corrected Geo-Magnetic CGM (red) coordinates


December 19, 2002: a double cusp observed by ITACA2 interpreted through SuperDARN data

  • From 9:45 UT onwards, the dayside convection suggests that the cusp is shifted towards dusk in the Northern hemisphere and towards dawn in the Southern hemisphere (By > 0).
  • At the same time two auroral spots are observed in the Northen hemisphere by the ITACA2 twin all sky cameras.
  • We interpret the spot around 13 MLT as due to precipitation of particles from the Northern hemisphere cusp.
  • The spot around 11 MLT needs more extended study, and large statistical coverage.

Can we carry out the same studies in the southern hemisphere?

Not yet.

But, there is already an all sky camera (IFSI & ENEA) at MZS...

... And IFSI is constructing (for the end of 2007) the two SuperDARN radars at Dome C.


Dome C magnetometers


MZS magnetometers, riometers,

Ionosonde, GPS, All sky camera.



A significant scientific contribution can be provided by the italian community to


Thank you