First PITHIA-NRF Training School

The First Training School of the Plasmasphere Ionosphere Thermosphere Integrated Research Environment and Access services: a Network of Research Facilities (PITHIA-NRF) project was held in Rome, INGV headquarters, from 29 May to 1 June 2023. The school offered:

  • lectures on the physical mechanisms acting in the Earth’s Ionosphere, Thermosphere and Plasmasphere as parts of the coupled Sun-Earth system;
  • courses on the main scientific models registered in PITHIA-NRF e-science centre;
  • hands-on session on the use of the PITHIA-NRF e-science centre for data mining and to learn its tools for integrating data sets and models.

The school addressed research scientists and engineers at all levels. The participation of PhD students and early career scientists were specifically encouraged. 


The Programme is available below and here in pdf (downloadable) format.

Time (CEST) Monday, 29 May Tuesday, 30 May Wednesday, 31 May Thursday, 1 June
09:00 Walk-in Walk-in Walk-in

The Earth's plasmasphere formation and dynamics

Viviane Pierrard

The empirical Drag Temperature Model 2020 (DTM2020) of the thermosphere

Sean Bruinsma

Working Groups Activities
Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break

The Upper Atmosphere

Sean Bruinsma

Ionospheric Prediction Models in PITHIA-NRF

Anna Belehaki

Working Groups Activities

Coupling with the lower atmosphere

Jaroslav Chum

Ionospheric Scintillations Climatological Model with Ground-Based GNSS receivers

Luca Spogli

13:00 Walk-in registration Lunch Lunch Lunch
13:50 School opening

Fundamentals of Ionospheric Plasma Dynamics (I)

Iurii Cherniak

Introduction on PITHIA-NRF

Anna Belehaki

Modeling HF Communications with RayTRIX and IRTAM

Ivan Galkin

Presentations by students

Introduction on the e-Science Centre

Tamas Kiss


TNA Programme

Maria Mihalikova

15:00 Coffee break

Introduction on Working Groups

Ivan Galkin

Discussion about e-Science Centre

Tamas Kiss

Fundamentals of Ionospheric Plasma Dynamics (II)

Iurii Cherniak

Coffee break Coffee break

From Sun to Earth with EUHFORIA

Tinatin Baratashvili

Setting of Working Groups

Lucilla Alfonsi

Wrap-up and school closing

Ionosphere - Magnetosphere coupling

Eija Tanskanen

Working Groups Activities

The 3D Dynamic Kinetic Model of the Plasmasphere

Viviane Pierrard

Welcome drink
18:00 Social Dinner


The lectures given during the School are available to the PITHIA-NRF YouTube Channel. You can access them here.

Selected pictures from the School activities are also available here.

Funds were available to support the travel of participants with an excellent CV accompanied by a motivation letter and a recommendation letter.

Key dates:

  • Registration opening: 27 January 2023
  • Application (including Funding request) closing: 15 March 2023
  • Acceptance: 31 March 2023
  • Final program: 30 April 2023


Venue: Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00143 Rome, Italy

Practical information available here.

Program Committee: Anna Belehaki (chair), Ivan Galkin, Tamas Kiss, Lucilla Alfonsi, Mamoru Ishii, Hanna Rothkael

Evaluation Committee: Ingemar Haggstrom (chair), David Altadill, Claudio Cesaroni, Jurgen Watermann

Local Organizing Committee: Luca Spogli (chair), Claudio Cesaroni, Sara Mainella, Emanuele Pica, Vincenzo Romano, Loredana Proto (secretary)