EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C533305/1
Title: 3-D time-varying GPS imaging of the polar ionosphere
Principal Investigator: Mitchell, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Evans, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: University of Bath
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 June 2005 Ends: 31 May 2008 Value (£): 170,951
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Image & Vision Computing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The goal of this project is to use GPS measurements to produce the first continuous and complete images of the polar ionosphere. GPS (the Global Positioning System) is familiar as a navigation aid, but here we are using it to make measurements of the Earth's ionosphere. The ionosphere is the part of the Earth's atmosphere at very high altitudes, where our environment meets with Space. The only time that you can 'see' the ionosphere is when the northern lights (aurora borealis) are active showing beautiful displays of the interaction between our planet and the Sun's energy.The approach adopted here is based on geophysical tomographic imaging ideas. You might be familiar with tomography from medical imaging - it is a technique for looking inside bodies without cutting them open first. In the medical case x-rays can be used to look inside a body from many angles and the tomography part is reconstructing the image of the inside of the body. In this ionosphere application, the measurements come from GPS satellites and the body is the ionosphere itself, which contains many complicated features. The reason that the features are interesting is that they affect radio systems and also they are signatures of the sun's effects on our planet. So, it is important to get the best images possible, but it is a difficult task because the ionosphere is constantly changing. It is mike trying to do medical imaging on a patient that won't stay still! Worse still, our patient (the ionosphere) cannot be moved to go inside the scanner. The scanner must be constructed around the patient and that is why we take profit of any existing measurements such as those we can take using GPS. To overcome these problems of movement and geometry, several novel ideas are to be developed, some of which are already being tested for speeding up image and movie downloading over the internet. The combination of the tomography and motion estimation will eventually produce the first temporally and spatially continuous images of the polar ionosphere. It is important to commence the project now so that the new algorithms will be ready for International Polar Year in 2007-2008, when many scientific instruments will be gathered in the Arctic and Antarctic for internationally comaborative research.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bath.ac.uk