SPEAR News


This page list notable events in the SPEAR project in reverse chronological order. We hope to add pictures of the construction as they become available.

October 2008 SPEAR campaign, the final campaign in which Leicester will be involved, to be carried out jointly by Leicester, UNIS and EISCAT. This, at least in part, is a familiarisation/training activity which will transfer skills to UNIS personnel.
May 2008 UNIS to take over SPEAR. Funding for SPEAR, along with all ground based STP facilities, was axed by PPARC/STFC at least partly in response to the £80m shortfall in funds due to the reorganisation of science support in the UK. Leicester has been seeking an organisation to take over the future operation of SPEAR in order to fully exploit the facility. We are pleased to announce that the Unviersity of Norway in Svalbard (UNIS) has agreed to take over ownership of SPEAR and we look forward to future scientific collaborations. Discussions as to how operations will be tansferred are ongoing.
October 2007 Final UK SPEAR campaign carried out 10/10/07 - 21/10/07
Aug/Sep 2007 SPEAR campaign from 10/8/2007 and 7/9/2007
Mar/Apr 2007 New robidium frequency standard installed. Campaign carrried out 21/22007 - 13/3/2007
Nov/Dec 2006 SPEAR campaign 27/11/2006 - 15/12/2006
October 2006 First radar measurements made by SPEAR
July 2006 SPEAR campaign 8/7/2006 - 24/7/2006
Jan/Feb 2006 SPEAR campaign 21/1/2006 - 4/2/2006
Nov/Dec 2005 SPEAR campaign 28/11/2005 - 9/12/2005
Nov 2005 Testing in conjuction with ESR/Power Station/Mine 7 between 1/11/2005 and 5/11/2005 to determine level of mains interference between the facilities. SPEAR gets clear bill of health.
June/July 2005 Receiver calibrations and campaign 29/6/2005 - 19/7/2005
April 2005 SPEAR campaign 17/4/2005 - 28/4/2005
December 2004 SPEAR campaign 5/10/2004 - 16/12/2004
October 2004 First artificial irregularities generated by SPEAR observed with CUTLASS radars.
Ionosonde installed at SPEAR site.
September 2004 First operation of complete SPEAR system with all 48 transmitters working
August 2004 Antenna array completed and final container unpacked and chimneys installed
May 2004 Some construction pictures added (at last!)
May 2004
Final transmitter container moved into position (pictures)
April 2004
Svbalbard ionosonde installed at the SPEAR site
April 2004
Experimental campaign carried out 7th April to 6th May. Artificial plasma lines generated by SPEAR observed with the ESR for the first time.
March 2004
SPEAR/EISCAT scheduling software in test phase
November 2003
SPEAR operates for the first time!
September 2003
Replacement transformer for substation arrives at the SPEAR site
Summer 2003
SPEAR antennas erected (pictures of the work in progress)
May 2002
Drilling completed and poles installed fot antenna foundations (above)
April 2002
SPEAR Workshop help at Leicester on 8th April - Report available here
March 2002
Testing of complete transmitter container confirms design and operation
January 2002
Announcement of SPEAR Workshop at Leicester on 8th April 2002
October 2001
Site survey completed. First picture of the site
September 2001
ESR interference tests look good!
March 2001
Funds released to enable bulk purchasing of components
February 2001
Transmitting licence issued by Post-og Teletilsynet
January 2001
Planning permission approved by the Govenor of Svalbard
January 2001
Submitted visualisation of SPEAR to suplement planning application
December 2000
Testing and approval of transmitter container cooling system
November 2000
Meeting with Post-og Teletilsynet to discuss details of transmitting licence application
October 2000
Successful test of Engineering Model operating at full power
August 2000
Identified possible site for SPEAR near to Mine 7 and the ESR
July 2000
8 4 kW Txs operated into model arrayat Bruntingthorpe field site
May 2000
Model antenna completed and tested at Bruntingthorpe field site
April 2000
Funding became available from PPARC for build phase
March 2000
Laboratory testing of 4 kW Tx and Tx/Rx switch
February 2000
Application for transmitting licence submitted to Post-og Teletilsynet
January 2000
Laboratory tests of high power Tx/Rx switch verify design and operation
January 1999
Laboratory testing of prototype new 1 kW PA module and Power Supply
January 1999
Successful testing of individual model antenna at Bruntingthorpe field site



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