Earth Planets Space, Vol. 63 (No. 4), pp. 377-381, 2011
Bodo W. Reinisch1,2 and Ivan A. Galkin1
1University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Atmospheric Research, 600 Suffolk Street, Lowell, MA 01854
2Lowell Digisonde International, LLC, 175 Cabot Street, Lowell, MA 01854
(Received July 15, 2010; Revised March 2, 2011; Accepted March 3, 2011; Online Online published June 14, 2011)
Digisonde ionospheric sounders installed at 80+ locations in the world have gradually evolved their generally independent existence into a Global Ionospheric Radio Observatory (GIRO) portal. Today GIRO provides public access to 30+ million records of ionospheric measurements collected at 64 locations, of which 42 provide real-time feeds, publishing their measurement data within several minutes from their completion. GIRO databases holding ionogram and Doppler skymap records of high-frequency ionospheric soundings have registered connections from 123 organizations in 33 countries. Easy access to the global state of the ionospheric plasma distribution given in accurate and fine detail by the ionosonde measurements has inspired a number of studies of the ionospheric response to space weather events. Availability of GIRO data with minimal latency allows for the assimilation of the ionogram-derived data in real-time models such as the real-time extension planned for the International Reference Ionosphere.
Key words: Digisonde network, ionospheric database, real-time IRI, GIRO.