Overview of NOA Node

Location (town, country): Palaia Penteli, Greece

Central Web site: http://www.iono.noa.gr

Description of the infrastructure:

NOA Ionospheric node combines experimental ionospheric facilities, data e-infrastructures and modelling facilities.

NOA Ionospheric node operates a Digital Ionospheric Station (the Athens DPS4D; that performs vertical incidence sounding, drift measurements and bi-static operations with other DPS4D located in a distance of up to 1,500 km. The observations are automatically processed and archived and are provided with open access. The NOA Ionospheric node archive provides data for the last two solar cycles. The Athens Digisonde performs every 5 minutes VI, Drift and D2D operations, making the data set fully suitable for the investigation of both ionospheric storm effects and ionospheric instabilities such as sporadic E-layers, Spread F and Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances.

NOA Ionospheric node operates the European Digital Upper Atmosphere Server (DIAS http://dias.space.noa.gr) that collects in real-time data from all Ionospheric Stations in Europe, and based on prediction models, provides nowcasts and forecasts of ionospheric characteristics over Europe, as well as predictions of thermospheric characteristics based on the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) model and predictions of plasmaspheric electron density based on the Topside Sounder Model. The DIAS database contains data and model results from 2005 until today.

NOA Ionospheric node operates the TechTIDE-EC H2020 warning system (http://tech-tide.eu) that provides detection and prediction of Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances over Europe and Africa, based on several complementary methodologies that are based on the real-time processing of data from ionospheric sounders, GNSS receivers and CDSS system. An open access repository provides the software codes for the main TID detection methodologies. The system is still under development and will be delivered in June 2020.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:

The NOA Ionospheric node systems offer a variety of services to research users: a) specification and forecast of ionospheric characteristics and ionospheric storm effects over Europe b) detection of medium and large scale travelling ionospheric disturbances over Europe and Africa c) access to NOA ionospheric databases with a Restful API that provides the results in an interoperable json format d) access to the sources codes of the main ionospheric forecast and electron density reconstruction models developed by the team.

According to Google Scholar, over 300 papers make reference to the Athens Digisonde and DIAS data. The TechTIDE software codes that have been released in 2019, have more than 200 downloads.

New areas opening to users:

Ionospheric modeling for nowcasting and forecasting purposes. Indicatively:

  • Modeling formulation of ionospheric storm effects at middle latitudes driven by solar wind input;
  • Data - driven ionospheric specification models, using different training data sets and/or deep-learning techniques ;
  • Ensemble modeling for ionospheric predictions using heliospheric forecasting models;
  • Reconstruction of electron density profile by ingesting ground and space-based observations.

Validation of ionospheric specification models compatible with international practices, such as the recommendations by Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) of NASA and Space Weather Service Network of ESA. 

Ionospheric data control: development of higher-level data-products based on ionospheric autoscaled data filtering algorithms.

Ionospheric irregularities and travelling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs). Research and application activities on:

  • Identification and propagation patterns for TIDs
  • Bottomside and topside ionosphere interactions
  • Identification of post-seismic effects in the ionosphere

Digisonde experiments

  • Vertical Soundings
  • Joint experiments/special campaigns with bistatic HF sounders’ operations.