The amplitude and Doppler frequency shifts of the signals backscattered from the E-region radar aurora are measured. By combining the data from the two stations, the magnitude and direction of the current flow and electric field vector can be determined.
The combined viewing area of the two radars was approximately 200,000 square km. located in the sub-auroral region off the coast of Norway. The spatial resolution was about 20x20km. and data were normally recorded at 20 sec. resolution.
The Uppsala radar ceased operation on the 28th October 1986. The Wick radar ceased operation on the 31st of March 1994.
There is an experimental radar, RAPIER (Relocatable Auroral Polar Ionospheric Experimental Radar) which operates on a campaign basis at Wick when not required elsewhere. When operating at Wick data from this system is retrieved each day for processing at Leicester.
The data are first examined for the level of auroral activity. This is achieved by means of a Detailed Range-Time-Intensity plot (DRTI). These are generated automatically and converted to colour PostScript. Data are available by contacting Dr Chris Thomas. Each plot displays the intensity of auroral backscatter as a function of range and time over a 24 hour period.
The data received are stored on magnetic tape (originally 1/2in. reels, now on DAT)