Space Weather Monitors- Stanford SOLAR Center

SID Monitors
DataObtaining a Monitor
For Educators
Installation and Use
The Team

Scherrer, Deborah, Ray Mitchell, William Clark, Richard Styner, Philip Scherrer, Umran Inan, Morris Cohen, Justin Tan, Shannon Lee, Sharad Khanal, Scott Winegarden, Paul Mortfield; "Designing Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance Monitors -- a Unique Collaboration Between Scientists and Educators"; Presentation at AGU 2005 Joint Assembly 23-27 May 2005, New Orleans, LA

Funding agencies such as NASA and NSF encourage E/PO programs to provide local educators with research experience. However, many researchers have neither the time nor the expertize nor the training resources to effectively incorporate an educator into their computer- and numerical-analysis-based research environments. Stanford's Solar Center has been experimenting with a unique program that teams community college and high school educators with research groups to develop a hands-on instrument that the educators's students can, in turn, use to conduct their own research.

With support from the researchers, the educators design, develop, and classroom-test a VLF radio receiver that monitors changes to the Earth's ionosphere caused by solar activity. The educators bring to the table their knowledge of classroom needs plus their amateur background in electronics. Stanford's Electrical Engineering Department’s Very Low Frequency Group provides EE resources and knowledge of ionospheric research. Stanford's Solar Observatories Group completes the team with their knowledge of the Sun and solar activity. Together, the project team has designed and developed two forms of monitors: 1) an inexpensive SID monitor that can be produced in quantity and made available to high schools and community colleges around the nation; and 2) a research quality monitor that can be placed in selected schools and will return data of sufficient quality and sensitivity that it can be used both by the students and the original Stanford researchers.

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