Collaborative Research: Studies of ULF Waves and Support for the Magnetic Induction Coil Array (MICA)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Magnetic Induction Coil Array (MICA) is an NSF supported array of induction coil magnetometers that measure ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves. MICA will increase our understanding of space weather, in particular with regards to exchange of energy in the radiation belts that leads to electrons precipitating into the ionosphere. The project will include maintenance of existing magnetometers and the addition of a new system in Greenland. The data will be made public to the scientific community through the NSF SuperMAG database. Additionally, early career scientists will be supported including graduate and undergraduate students. The data will be incorporated into undergraduate projects supported by the NJIT REU program.

This project provides support for (1) the operation and upgrades of ULF induction coil magnetometer systems, including the acquisition and processing of ULF data, (2) the provision of these data to the scientific community, and (3) specific scientific studies using these data. Since induction coil magnetometers measure dB/dt, they have intrinsically better signal-to-noise ratios near 1 Hz than fluxgate magnetometers and so are able to observe even relatively weak waves near these frequencies. The science topics that will be addressed are generally focused on electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, known to drive radiation belt particle precipitation, and Pi1B waves, associated with substorm onsets. The work will target understanding of 1) interhemispheric observations of EMIC waves, 2) substorm injections and IPDP waves, 3) investigations of the source of Pi1B pulsations, and 4) EMIC wave occurrences and precipitation on global scales.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/26


  • National Science Foundation: $341,789.00


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