Module Identifier PHM5760  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Eleri Pryse  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite Successful Completion of Year 3 of the MPhys Scheme  
Course delivery Lecture   130 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   30 exercises  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment AGF301 Combined: Written Examination + Project Report  50%
Semester Assessment AGF304 Combined: Oral Examination + Field Report  50%

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

Brief description

The module, which is delivered and assessed at UNIS located in Longyearbyen, Svlabard, consists of 2 parts:
AGF-301 Upper Polar Atmosphere
AGF-304 Radar Diagnostics of Space Plasma

These qualify for 30 ECTTS which are equivalent to 60 Aberystwyth Credits.


AGF-301 The Upper Polar Atmosphere

(15 ECTS ~ 30 Aberystwyth Credits)
This course describes the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere and the consequences of these processes for the ionised region of the upper atmosphere i.e. the ionosphere. Energy, particles and momentum transferred from the solar wind manifest themselves in the upper polar atmosphere, particularly as the aurora, but also in terms of powerful electric currents and wind systems (ion winds as well as winds in the neutral gas). Central Elements in this course are the descriptions of the Earth's magnetic field, the magnetosphere, ionisation processes and the formation of the ionosphere.

AGF-304 Radar Diagnostics of Space Plasma

(15 ECTS Credits ~ 30 Aberystwyth Credits)
This course contains fundamental theories of signal processing and incoherent scatter processes and gives an introduction to radar technology. A technical description of the EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR) including transmitter, receivers and antenna design is given. On the basis of theoretical models for incoherent scattering cross-section a presentation will be given on the main principles for conducting plasma experiments with an incoherent scatter radar and the plasma parameters that can be described from the autocorrelation functions observed by such a radar.

Transferable skills

Observations carried out at the Adventdalen Auroral Station

Reading Lists

A Brekke Physics of the Polar Upper Atmosphere
R M Measures Laser remote Sensing, Fundamentals and Applications
M A Janssen Atmospheric remote sensing by microwave radiometry
T Nygren Introduction to incoherent scatter measurements


This module is at CQFW Level 7