With the unveiling of two Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR) prototype systems, SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, recently announced the latest milestones in the development of new upper atmospheric remote sensing capabilities. Chief among those milestones was the testing of the AMISR prototype systems at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) in Peru and at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) Observatory in Alaska.
AMISR is a new concept in upper atmospheric radars being designed and built by SRI with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). SRI will build three AMISR antenna faces, each made up of 128 building-block-like panels. The first complete face is to be installed at Poker Flat, Alaska. When construction of the Alaskan facility is finished, two additional faces will be installed in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada. When these two initial deployments are complete, NSF will determine subsequent locations based on input from the scientific community. Though full AMISR radars have not yet been constructed, scientists are already using the AMISR prototype systems to conduct studies of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.