"SDO is working beautifully.. this is even better than we could have dreamed." Project Scientist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite was launched at UCLan in February 2010. SDO is the first mission of the Living with a Star (LWS) NASA program to be in operation. UCLan SDO is dedicated to the study of the solar atmosphere focusing on the coupling between the magnetic field and the plasma, and the impact of the solar activity on the Earth's atmosphere.
UCLan is one of the European data centres for SDO and the only one in the UK to provide a rolling database for two SDO instruments in near-real time: the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI). The development of the database is supported by the Learning and Information Services (LIS) at UCLan.
The Solar Group at UCLan is working on several topics to understand fundamental solar and plasma physics problems:
Coronal heating of active region loops.
Flux emergence of active regions and their coronal consequences.
Magnetohydrodynamic waves in the solar atmosphere.
Small scale eruptive events such as blinkers.
Flares and CMEs, magnetic structures and enegetic particles.
The SDO UCLan database contains about five months worth of SDO/AIA and SDO/HMI data. We have subscribed to the following data series (Level 1) at full cadence:
SDO/AIA: aia.lev1 series (all 10 wavelengths, full cadence of 12s, rice compression)
SDO/HMI: hmi.M_45s (line of sight magnetogram), hmi.Ic_45s (continuum intensity), hmi.V_45s (Dopplergrams), hmi.Lw_45s (line width), hmi.Ld_45s (line depth)
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and especially Learning and Information Services (LIS) have sponsored the development of the SDO rolling database for the instruments SDO/AIA and SDO/HMI. The purpose is to serve the UK and European communities with the SDO data in a convenient way. The SDO database is also supported by the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) through the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute (JHI).
In Febuary 2010 researchers unveiled "First Light" images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. As soon as SDO's telescope doors opened, the spacecraft began beaming back scenes so beautiful and puzzlingly complex that even seasoned observers were stunned.
The UCLan SDO database is now accessible through the SSW IDL using the VSO commands (see guidance below). However, the system can still encounter some downtime for maintenance:
Guide to retrieving and analysing SDO data from the IDL Solar Software (SSW) can be found below:
Guide to SDO Data Access & Data Processing (.pdf 1.66MB)
Examples of query to the UCLan database:
Searching the database: IDL> s = VSO_SEARCH('2011-01-01 00:00:00', '2011-01-01 02:00:00', sample=300, site='UCLAN', instr='aia')
Getting the data: IDL> status = VSO_GET(s, site='UCLAN', /rice)
The Solar Group at UCLan is involved with public outreach activities and organises events for schools and teachers, more information can be found on the UCLan school activities page.
Here are some useful links to access, analyse or view SDO data and science as well as Solar Physics links.