Space Weather Monitors- Stanford SOLAR Center







SID Monitors
Documentation
Science
DataObtaining a Monitor
Distribution
For Educators
Installation and Use
The Team
Publications
References
Acknowledgements



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About the Space Weather Monitor Program

Earth from Space and SunThe 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.

Quick overview of SID Monitors

Earth's ionosphere 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).

Earth from the low ionosphere Earth from the low ionosphere
Photo courtesy Jorgen Hedin

Stanford's 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 to power. 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.


Featured

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!"

The 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)

An interactive map of SID & AWESOME sites is available.

List of VLF transmitters:
AWESOME's List
Lionel Loudet's List
SMETER's List



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The International Heliophysical Year (IHY), Organizing Committee and the United Nation's International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) have both designated our Space Weather Monitors as supported projects. We have placed over 900 monitors throughout the world!
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Image 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, Finland.

©2015 by Stanford SOLAR Center