Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory

Optical Instrumentation and data

SGO has three independent optical instrument in operation (status 11/2022):

iCCD all sky imager was operated at from 2000 to April 2021.

The quick-look data of SGO instruments can be found via invidual instrument pages available from the submenu on the top of page. The auroral cameras of SGO are in operation from late August to late April, when the Sun is at least 10° below the horizon. See the length of the optical season in Scandinavia from the AuroraFAQ.

Overview data are presented as keograms and time-lapse movies. Sky-I, iCCD and emCCD keograms and timelapse movies are available online in the SGO data archive.

The iCCD and emCCD cameras are part of the MIRACLE network, running the MIRACLE sequences, see more details from the invidual instrument pages.

Both imagers are calibrated in FMI calibration laboratory once per year usually in the context of the Nordic optical intercalibration session.

Latest keograms of the MIRACLE stations are available on the MIRACLE site. MIRACLE keograms are uploaded to the MIRACLE page every working day morning (excluding holidays). SGO's own keogram archive and ASC movies are updated periodically.

Optical guest instruments at SGO

In addition to SGO's own instrumentation, SGO hosts optical guest instruments at SOD:

  • UCL Fabry-Perot Interferometer 2003-today, contact: Prof Anasuya Aruliah, APL, University College London, UK
  • UCL All-Sky Colour Imager 2003-today, contact: Prof Anasuya Aruliah, APL, University College London, UK
  • ISEE 100Hz All-Sky imager 2016-today, contact: Dr Shin-Ichiro Oyama, ISEE, University of Nagoya, Japan
  • NIPR 10Hz All-Sky imager 2016-today, contact: Dr Yasunobu Ogawa, National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan

The Atmospheric Physics Laboratory of the University College of London have a all sky colour imager next to their Fabry-Perot interferometer. The camera takes a snapshot of the sky every 2 minutes. The exposure time is 30 seconds. Sometimes, especially during full Moon, there are reflections of the Fabry-Perot mirrors in the images. Since January 2017 there has been AuroraTech Cloud sensor next to UCL dome. While SGO displays realtime images from these instruments, all requests regarding the use of the data should be directed to APL, UCL.

The Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE), University of Nagoya, Japan, operates its 100Hz emCCD imager at SOD. It is one of four high-speed all-sky cameras located in Fenno-Scandinavia. The research interest is pulsating auroras. The sites were selected for best conjuctions of the Japanese Arase (ERG) satellite. The dome structure for the camera was developed by SGO technical laboratory. There are also two 10-Hz all-sky imagers from National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan.

SGO historical optical data

First optical observations at SGO was carried out by E. Sucksdorff in 1927-1929. The photographs was taken to the glass plates, which was destroyed in the World War II. However, paper copies of the original photos was found from the archives of Sucksdorff family (Eyvind and his son Christian), which was arhived to the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The copies was recently found from archives and transported to Sodankylä.

The all sky imaging at SGO started during IGY 1957 when two Stoffgren bought to Finland and otherone was installed to the observatory. During the decades some modification was done and continuous analogical synoptic observations to the films were continued to the end of the century, when the first digital iCDD based all sky camera was taken in use Nov 2000.

More about the 1927-1929 observations

Other historical optical data

SGO and Space Physics Group of University of Oulu held numerous combined optical and EISCAT campaigns in 1990s and 2000s. During these campaigns optical instrumentation of SPG was operated at Tromsö area, Kilpisjärvi, Karesuvanto and Sodankylä. Some of the instruments were in operation until end of the season after the campgins. These auroral video cameras, zenith photometers and meridian scanning photometers were built by SPG optical team lead by Dr. Kari Kaila. Part of the optical data were digitally archived and stored also at SGO.

Last modified: 06 May 2024, 09:47:59.

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