Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Recent Geomagnetic Event 2013-10-08 20:00:00

At 07:09 on the 5th of October, LASCO observed a CME event, with an angular width > 270 degrees. This indicates that it was potentially a halo CME.

LASCO recorded a median velocity of 650km/s.

The event was observed at the same time by Stereo 1 and Stero 2:


The event was registered by the magnetometer installed in the Rosse Observatory just after 20:00:00 on the 8th of October.
Despite this, the K-index did not rise above 2 for the disturbance.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

RSTO and Glendalough radio survey.

Today and yesterday Christian Monstein from ETH Zurich and the RSTO team performed some radio surveys in Birr Castle (RSTO site) and in Glendalough miners village (as a quiet site reference).

Radio frequency interference (RFI) spectrum at RSTO  (courtesy of Christian Monstein).

Small Log-Periodic Antenna used for the radio survey.

Small Log-Periodic Antenna used for the radio survey.

Christian Monstein and Joe McCauley in Glengalough Co. Wicklow during the quiet reference radio survey.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Geomagnetic storm from Ireland.  The first recorded at RSTO.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Saturday, 20 April 2013


Four LOFAR LBA antennas were installed today at RSTO. The antennas are connected to two CALLISTO receivers measuring 2 polarizations.  This test array is now operational at RSTO and the data is provided realtime at

LOFAR LBA test array

Friday, 14 December 2012

Magnetometer at RSTO

RSTO team were down in Birr yesterday finishing up the installation of the magnetometer. I'm happy to report that it is now taking data, which looks nice. The data are being streamed to our server, and we will have near-realtime plots of Bx, By, and Bz up on next week. We're also going to calculate a local Kp index - a first for Ireland.

Figure 1 Preparing the cables from the control room to the magnetometer site.

Figure 2 Admiring the magnetometer future location.

Figure 3 DIAS/TCD magnetometer in place.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Friday, 24 August 2012

RSTO Solar Spectrometers

CALLISTO Spectrometer Set-up at RSTO

RSTO operates three CALLISTO receivers fed by a broadband log-periodic antenna and a biconical antenna (Figure 1). Nominally, the RSTO set-up operates at 600 channels with a sampling time of 250 ms seconds per sweep. CALLISTO 1 observes at 10–100 MHz, CALLISTO 2 at 100–200 MHz, and CALLISTO 3 at 200–400 MHz. The system has been optimised to measure the dynamic spectraof Type II radio bursts produced by coronal shock waves, and Type III radio bursts produced by near-relativistic electrons streaming along open magnetic field lines. It can also record other radio bursts, such as Type IV bursts and Type I noise storms.

Figure 1 RSTO Antennas 

The log-periodic antenna has a frequency band of 50 to 1300 MHz with a 50 degree half-power beam-width (HPBW). The antenna is fixed to an alt-azimuth drive which tracks the Sun to optimize its response. The biconical antenna is 4 m long and has a nominal frequency sensitivity from 10 to 300 MHz. It is also mounted on a motorized rotator to track the Sun. CALLISTO 2 and 3 operates with a pre-amplifier that has a frequency range of 5–1500 MHz, and a typical noise figure of 1.2 dB, while a similar pre-amplifier is separately connected to CALLISTO 1. The system set-up is optimized to reach the ionospheric cut-off frequency at ∼10 MHz. In order to do this, the receiver with a nominal operational band between 45 to 870 MHz has to operate  with a frequency up-converter, shifting the range between 10–100 MHz to 220–310 MHz. The observed frequencies are then down-converted in software.

Figure 3 The set-up of the array of three CALLISTO spectrographs at RSTO.