The Solar Dynamics Observatory at UCLan

About SDO

"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.

SDO Science 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.

Coronal holes.

Flares and CMEs, magnetic structures and energetic particles.

SDO data at UCLan

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 SDO database

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).

SDO Data Access

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:

Get SDO data through the UCLan VSO web interface 
Questions regarding the database and the SDO data

User guide

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)


Outreach activities

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.

UCLan SDO Outreach activities

External Links

Here are some useful links to access, analyse or view SDO data and science as well as Solar Physics links.

SDO Instrument links

The Sun Today at LMSAL
SDO/HMI at Stanford University

SDO database links

JSOC data access
SDO access through VSO (NSO)
SDO data at the ROB (Belgium)
SDO data at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS)


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