Quarterly Update: May 2021

PI action requested

  1. Approve our charter
  2. Provide feedback on the elevation angle fields for FITACF3.0 (see previous report)
  3. Suggest topics for discussion at the upcoming DAWG meeting during the virtual workshop
  4. Help us to answer three technical questions given in the next section

Technical questions

We would like some help answering three technical questions. We hope that either some PIs will be able to answer these questions themselves, or put us in touch with someone else in the SuperDARN community who can help:

  1. The receiver rise time is often provided in both the rawacf data files and the hardware files. Which value should be used in the analysis software?
  2. Does frang define the distance to the edge or the center of the first range gate? We would specifically like to know how frang (and lagfr) are defined “in practice” at the radar site.
  3. Have the maxrange values in the hardware files been updated consistently over time to reflect new operational modes? For example, it is common to triple the number of range gates when rsep is reduced from 45km to 15km. Is this reflected in the hardware files for all radars?


At the Virtual SuperDARN Workshop we will propose that FITACF 3.0 shall become the default fitting algorithm in the RST.

We will set aside some time to discuss this during the DAWG meeting. To prepare for this discussion, we direct you to the following talks submitted to this year’s workshop:

Previous presentations and documents relating to FITACF 3.0 are available here.

RST update

RST’s latest released version is 4.5 (January 2021). Our working/development codebase includes several bugfixes, some new features/libraries in existing binaries, and some completely new binaries. We have also been updating the locations and content of RST’s documentation. The next version, RST4.6, is still in the works and a release date has not been scheduled.

PyDARN update

PyDARN version 2.1 is planned for release before June. It focuses on fan plot updates and coordinate systems with new contributions from Francis Tolley and Nathaniel Frissell. Shane Coyle from the VT magnetometer group has also been developing in pyDARN to introduce cartopy in release 3.0.

Communication with our working group

In the interests of efficient and friendly communication, please contact us directly with questions or feedback about our activities.

If you don’t have specific feedback, it is still helpful to hear from you when you have found our reports useful.