Welcome to the InFlaMo Network Portal
The InFlaMo project monitors the space weather situation via ground based and satellite measurements. From ground it is possible to detect sudden ionospheric disturbances (SID), which are also called Dellinger effect, or sometimes Mögel–Dellinger effect. SID is caused by solar x-ray radiation at ionospheric hights and coinside with the appearance of solar x-ray flares.
The SID effect was discovered by John Howard Dellinger around 1935 and also described by the German physicist Hans Mögel (1900-1944) in 1930. The fadeouts are characterized by sudden onset and a recovery that takes minutes or hours.
It is known since the early days of radio communication that solar variations are having an influence on long range radio transmissions. For our modern and on technology denpendent society any disturbance of communication and navigation can and will heavily influence daily routines, may cause extra expenses or even can cause (in an extreme case) physical harm to people due to accidents arising from technical system failures.
While the appearance of solar x-ray flares can not be forcasted on short time scales (shorter than periods of the Sun rotation and non-statistacally) one can detect solar x-ray flares passively and indirect as SID signatures within the variation of the fieldstrength of VLF radio transmission.
Earths' upper atmosphere allows us only the indirect view on our Sun and the phenomena appearing on its surface. Being outside Earths' atmosphere provides a direct view onto Sun. This is archived by using space probes and satellites. For the InFlaMo project the NOASs GOES solar x-ray satellite data are used as reference.
Comparing both direct (space based) and indirect (ground based) observations provides a great deal of information. Especially, considering that one can not be sure if the space based information are available at times of active space weather conditions, possible limiting the transionospheric radiolink to research satellites. At the InFlaMo project we consider this matter learning mother natures language.
Above plots are an example of a typical InFlaMo project product. On October 8th, 2012 around noon UTC occured a M-class solar x-ray flare, which was recorded by the GOES 14 satellite (identified via red bar at panel d)). The InFlaMo SID broadband receiver (DE17129a) detected at three VLF frequencies (a) 20.9 kHz, b) 22.1 kHz, and c) 24.00 kHz) simultaniously a SID event. The vertical arrows in panels a) to c) indicate the time interval for sunlit conditions at both the transmitter and the SID monitor station. BTW: The vertical singular spikes are yet to be explained. Local source/errors can for those can not be excluded!
The geographic distribution of the most commonly known large radio transmitter stations (mostly for national navy and other larger institutions or agencies operating) below 30 kHz are shown as yellow crosses on the world map besides. Further details (call signs, frequencies and locations) on those stations are available as ASCII text document here. Most of them can be received by the InFlaMo network (InFlaMo SID monitor stations are marked as red dots).
The InFlaMo project is constantly seeking more SID monitor stations from anywhere. One primary aim is to cover so many timezones (spatial distribution along longitude) that it will be possible to monitor the sunlit side of our plant continiously. A secondary aim is the establishment of a latitudinal meridian chain. So if you are located somewhere between, e.g. Cape Town (South Africa) and Longyearbyen (Svalbard, Norway) please consider joining the InFlaMo project.
What are our goals?
Certainly the aim of any project must be to develop something unique or new, preserve or support existing research and development or simply emperically verify and apply known facts to support exisiting knowledge, which may lead to applications serving the common good. The InFlaMo project aims are a bit of all those. While SID monitors and SID networks already exist for some time (especially since the IHY 2007 they experienced a renessaince) the applied techniques (instruments and IT resources) are all the time enhanced.
Whom does the InFlaMo project serves and supports?
- K-12 students and their educators
- college students and young (or any) scientists
- research institutes insterested to apply an inexpensive and easy applyable technology for their research
- astronomy and radio amateurs as well as every interested individual or organization
What new or unique technology do we appy for the InFlaMo network?
Actually, none! However, the technology utilized is state of the art and composed in a manner that the SID monitors are cheaper than comparable instruments, more robust, stand alone and fully (mobile) networking capable.
Can there be still `new` science be done with such a relative simple and ordinary instrument as a SID monitor?
Indeed, we are often blind for the simplest idea. Also there has been an enormous technological development since the area of ionsopheric radio-wave studies in the 20ies century. We now can monitor with a simple stand alone instrument a large radio frequency spectrum with a hight temporal resolution. We aim to support the global SID monitoring community and get a much more comprehensive understanding of the small scale effects happening in Earths ionosphere and their consequences for application of modern technology.
Our aim is to encourage you to join us on the quest of discovering the last secrets of Earths' ionosphere.