EISCAT Scientific Association

at the edge of the world and at the forefront of technology

The European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) is a non-profit international scientific organization that operates four ground-based research facilities with radar antennas to enable research on the ionosphere and upper atmosphere. For example, we can observe the effects of auroras, solar storms and space weather.

We operate in three countries: Finland, Norway and Sweden, and all our facilities are located north of the Arctic Circle. You probably recognize our radar antennas, which are located in Kiruna, Sweden; Sodankylä, Finland; Tromsø, Norway and in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. In Tromsø we also have a combined ionospheric heating and shortwave radar facility: Heating. EISCAT Headquarters are in Kiruna.

Our radar antennas use incoherent scatter radar technology. This technique is the most powerful ground-based tool for this type of research. The first EISCAT system was inaugurated in 1981. Since then, we have continuously developed and expanded our facilities. Most recently with the EISCAT Svalbard Radar in Longyearbyen in 1996. And now it’s time again!

EISCAT3D – a next generation incoherent scatter radar

Right now we are building a completely new type of research radar facility, much more advanced than our previous facilities, a next generation incoherent scattering radar: EISCAT 3D.

EISCAT 3D, like our current system, will be located in Finland, Norway and Sweden, and in the same way as the current system is coordinated. However, EISCAT 3D will be able to offer much more advanced and accurate measurements. It will be so precise that even very small particles of, for example, space debris will be able to be detected and tracked.

Space debris is becoming a major problem for our continued exploration of space. We need to be able to map and detect space debris to ensure rocket launches, safe satellite orbits and not least to ensure continued work on the International Space Station, ISS.

Read more: https://www.eiscat.se

EISCAT antenna outside Kiruna.
EISCAT research radar antenna outside Kiruna. Photo: Lars-Göran Vanhainen, IRF.