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DIAS Summer Interns 2023 #7

This week Chris was away so I (Seosamh) was still working on improving the SuperSID by finding alternative and less noisy VLF transmitters and optimising the code.

Over the last week I’ve been cycling through the many different VLF transmitters across the globe that we can receive signal from. I tried transmitters from India, France, Norway, Sweden, USA, Turkey etc. Unfortunately, most of these transmitters turned out to be either offline or having data that was too noisy to pick up Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances. That being said, I came across 2 very good options, one in Saint Assise, France (FTA) and the other in Ebino, Japan (NDT). These were able to clearly detect solar flares with minimal noise and they possessed the regular diurnal patterns you would expect to see. This puts us in a very strong position as now we have 3 very strong transmitters, DHO38, FTA and NDT to detect solar flares with. The goal is to find 2 more good transmitters to have a total collection of 5 transmitters that would be able to detect solar flares all over the globe.

As mentioned in the previous blog, I worked on optimising the code to make the changing of VLF transmitters in the software, easier to do. This week I worked on creating a separate configuration file for the 2 local python scripts that split up the data into their respective transmitter and organises the data in the correct date folder. This is useful because it allowed me to make the 2 scripts completely general and suitable for universal use, with the goal in mind of putting them up on GitHub for anyone with a SuperSID to be able to use.

Also, I have been making progress on the DIAS SuperSID website. I am currently working on implementing an interactive map of the world that has markers of where each VLF transmitter that we are using is and when you click on these markers, they give you more information about the individual station. This is with the purpose to make the website a bit more interactive and to demonstrate the SuperSID’s use of transmitters across the globe.

On Tuesday the 1st of August there was series of 7 M-class flares in the one day. 6 of them occurred before 10:00am UTC. This was the result of a CME cloud hitting the earth after being released from the sun by an M4 solar flare on the 28th of July. Unfortunately, the SuperSID struggled to pick up the earlier M-class flares due to it happening during the night, but the M-class flares that we could pick up were very useful in proving that NDT, the Japan VLF transmitter, is a suitable option as it picked up some of these flares as seen below.