Nature of project: data analysis, theory
Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.
A geomagnetic storm is defined by the Dst Index but Geomagnetic Quiet Times are defined using several algorithms and indices like Kp, Ap, aa and others. This project looks at the definitions of quiet times and compares them from measurements of the magnetic field made on the ground.
This is an important topic in space weather as the map of the Earth's magnetic field which is updated every five years uses this information to create the model. This model is used by many industries, geological, aviation, communication, GPS are a few.
In doing this project you will learn about the IGRF (The International Geomagnetic Reference Field) and the construction of the model which is dependent upon the external geomagnetic field which is influenced by the solar wind.
A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
Space weather influences our daily lives. If the student is able to use geomagnetic satellite data to determine a quiet time this would progress the field.
When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.
Additional scope or challenge if taken as a Year-4 project: This project has scope for a student who wishes to learn the workings of the solar wind, magnetosphere and the ionosphere during quiet times and also the construction of the IGRF - the map used by industry to define the Earth's magnetic field. The analysis would be of greater depth and include more examples than the third year project.
Please speak to Heather McCreadie if you consider doing this project.
Initial literature for students:
The degree of assistance required depends on the student. Matlab will be used and the student will be given initial tutorials in Matlab.
|milestone||to be completed by|
|understanding of data given shown||end of October|
|learning how to use software and more data collected||Christmas|
|Software development||end of February|