Dunsink Lane, Dublin 15, D15 XR2R

DIAS Summer Interns 2023 #8

This week Chris and I (Seosamh) spent most of the week preparing for INAM. Also, as we approach the final weeks of this internship, we have been spending time finishing up our changes to the SuperSID project.

Chris and I have registered for INAM and spent the week composing a draft poster for the conference. We hope to edit and perfect the posters by the end of next week so we can get them printed off and ready to be put on display for INAM.

Chris has been working on a flare identification system which pulls the classification of each flare from the GOES X-ray flux database and overlays it onto our graphs so we can easily identify the specific class of flare that we detected. Also, he has been colour coding each class of flare and working on generally making the graphs more readable and easier to understand what the data tells us.

I also worked on changing VLF transmitters this week and I’m proud to say that we now have 5 working transmitters that are showing the correct diurnal patterns and are picking up SID’s. As mentioned in last week’s blog, we had identified 3 viable transmitters, DHO38 in Germany, NDT in Japan, and FTA in France. This week we identified GBZ in Anthorn in the U.K. as a viable option as some of its peaks align with flares that occurred during the week. Also, we reverted to NAA in Maine in the USA. This seems to be working well on the Birr SuperSID but not quite as well on the Dunsink SuperSID.

As a result of this, we have realised that the Dunsink SuperSID data always looks noisier than the Birr SuperSID data even though they are tuned into the same VLF transmitters. This was originally thought to be a problem of location as Dublin would generally have more sources of interference than Birr, however 3 years ago when the SuperSID program started, both SuperSID’s were producing equally minimal noise data. We now believe this to be a hardware problem with the Dunsink SuperSID, so we are working in Dunsink Observatory next week to further investigate this problem and hopefully achieve cleaner and less noisy data from Dunsink.

Over the August bank holiday 2 X-class flares occurred in the span of 2 days. An X1.6 on Saturday the 5th of August just after 10:00 UTC and an X1.5 on the Monday the 7th of August at around 9:00 UTC. As these occurred after sunset it was difficult to pick them up with the SuperSID due to the high signal strength observed at night. However, a spike can be seen on FTA’s transmitter for the X1.6 flare on the 5th of August. It is very rare to have 2 X-class flares occur so close in time to each other and this further indicative that we are approaching the solar maximum.