The SID Space Weather Monitor program is an education project to build
and distribute inexpensive ionospheric monitors to students around
the world. The monitors detect solar flares and other ionospheric
disturbances. Two versions of the monitor exist - the original SID instruments, and a new, lower-cost SuperSID.
reacts strongly to the intense X-ray and ultraviolet radiation
released by the Sun during a solar flare. By using a receiver
to monitor the signal strength from distant VLF transmitters,
and noting unusual changes as the waves bounce off the ionosphere,
students around the world can directly monitor and track these
Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances (SIDs).
from the low ionosphere
Photo courtesy Jorgen Hedin
Solar Center and local educators have developed inexpensive
SID monitors that students can install and use at their local
high schools. Students "buy in" to the project by building
their own antenna, a simple structure costing less than $10 and
taking a couple hours to assemble. Data collection and analysis
is handled by a local PC, which need not be fast or elaborate.
Because there are VLF transmitters scattered around the world,
the monitors can be placed virtually anywhere there is access
Stanford is providing a centralized data repository
where students can deposit and extract data.
The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA)
has taken over distribution and support of the project and also maintains a
Yahoo SuperSID group
where students can exchange and discuss data.
SID Powerpoint Presenation Available
The SID Monitor Program
The presentation is designed to describe the SID project and an introduction to the science for a potential mentor audience. The
presentation could also be adapted to be given to high school students who have received a SID monitor.
The SID packages passes
NASA Product Review with "Outstanding" ranking!
NASA Cover Letter and Explanation
One review stated "This might be the most well put together resource I have ever reviewed!"
Tracking Solar Flares
activity has been added.
Read our article
Distributing space weather monitoring
instruments and educational materials worldwide for IHY 2007: The AWESOME and SID project
in Advances in Space Research (COSPAR)
map of SID & AWESOME sites is available.
List of VLF transmitters:
Lionel Loudet's List
Heliophysical Year (IHY), Organizing Committee
and the United Nation's International Space Weather
have both designated our Space Weather Monitors as supported
projects. We have placed over 900 monitors
throughout the world!
Credits: Earth image courtesy of NASA.
Earth from the lower ionopshere courtesy Jorgen Hedin and Michael
Erneland, taken from an atmospheric balloon high about Rovaniemi,