Publication / Major Achievements

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February:  New Phd: Alexander Broberg Skeltved successfully defends his thesis entitled, “Evaluating the production scenarios of terrestrial gamma-ray flashes.”


January:  New staff member: Dr. Michael Hesse, former Director of the NASA Community Coordinated Modeling Center, joins the BCSS team.

February:  Invitation: Centre leader Nikolai Østgaard is invited to give a presentation at UN-COPUOS (United Nation Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space) meeting in Vienna, Austria. The topic of his talk is, "Norwegian contribution to SCOSTEP/VarSITI”.

June:  Award: Professor Michael Hesse is awarded a NASA medal  "for exemplary service to NASA leading Goddard Space Flight Center’s Heliophysics Science Division."

September:  Opening: The EISCAT_3D Opening Event – for the construction of the most advanced 3D imaging radar system in the world – begins in Skibotn in northern Norway. Dag Lorentzen and Lisa Baddeley from UNIS, and Kjellmar Oksavik and Therese Moretto Jørgensen from UiB represent BCSS at the opening event.

September:  New role: Dr. Lisa Baddeley of BCSS will take on a new responsibility within the EISCAT community as the Norwegian representative to the EISCAT Science Oversight/Advisory Committee (SAC).

October:  Outreach:  Stein Haaland is one of the co-editors of Dawn­-Dusk Asymmetries in Planetary Plasma Environments (Wiley & Sons).

November:  Evaluation: BCSS passes its mid-term evaluation by NRC (the Norwegian Research Council) with a an overall assessment of "exceptional". The Centre is to be funded for an additional five years.


February:  Instrumentation: BCSS becomes part of a new space mission called SMILE. This is a collaborative mission between ESA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences scheduled for launch in 2021. BCSS will build a shutter system for the SXI soft X-ray telescope, which will measure the entry of solar wind plasma into the Earth’s magnetosphere.

April:  Media: Auroral research at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory was featured on the largest European news channel Euronews in a program series called “Learning World”. This TV program has been translated into 13 languages; Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian. The movie is found here.

April:  Media: The Australian TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes made a broadcast with Fred Sigernes at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory about the origin of the aurora.

May:  Award: The European Geosciences Union (EGU) awards Christoph Franzen the EGU Outstanding Student Poster (OSP) award for his poster entitled "Single vs multi-level quenching of the hydroxyl airglow".

June:  New PhD: Jone Peter Reistad successfully defends his PhD thesis “Mechanisms responsible for asymmetric aurora between the conjugate hemispheres

September:  Award: A bust of Yuri Gagarin is awarded the Birkeland Centre for Space Science by the organization "Dialogue of Cultures" to honour the 55th year anniversary of Gagarin's famous space flight.

September:  New PhD: Linn-Kristine Glesnes Ødegaard successfully defends her PhD thesis Energetic particle precipitation into the middle atmosphere - optimization and applications of the NOAA POES MEPED data

November:  Instrumentation: The new SuperDARN radar in Svalbard was officially opened.  Read more here.

November:   Media: An image taken by Pavlo Kochkin was selected as the picture of the week in the Journal of Physics D: Applied physics. The picture shows a discharge phenomenon called pilot system, which may have a similarity with sprites triggered by lightning. The image is from his paper.

November:  New PhD: Christer van der Meeren successfully defends his PhD thesis “Mesoscale ionospheric plasma irregularities and scintillation over Svalbard

November:  Outreach: Nikolai Østgaard lectures at SCOSTEP/ISWI, Sangli, India.

December:  Instrumentation: ASIM is fully integrated and ready to be launched in September 2017.

December:   Award: Kjellmar Oksavik is awarded the prestigious Fulbright Arctic Chair stipend for 2017.  He will visit Virginia Tech from August to December 2017.

December:  Special invitation: In recognition of the scientific achievements by BCSS, the Centre Leader Nikolai Østgaard has been invited (2017) to the United Nation, Office of Outer Space Affairs, Vienna. Here he will give a talk to one of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittees  (UNCOPUOS/STSC) and present the Norwegian contribution to SCOSTEP/VarSITI.

December:  Research grant: The proposal "Full Range Energetic Particle Precipitation Impacting the Middle Atmosphere (FREPPIMA))" was accepted for funding by the Research Council of Norway. PI: Hilde Nesse Tyssøy

December:  Outreach: Fred Sigernes published a new cell phone app in Google Play that allows regular people to learn where the auroral oval is most likely located right now, in one hour, and in four hours. The app is called "Auroral Forecast 3D".

December:  New PhD: Silje Eriksen Holmen successfully defends her PhD thesis "Trends and variability of polar mesopause region temperatures attributed to atmospheric dynamics and solar activity".


March:  Media: UNIS team contributes with instruments and expertise during the total solar eclipse on Svalbard on the 20th of March, an event that was broadcast live to millions of TV-viewers all over the world.

April:  Publication is highlighted: A January 2015 article in Geophysical Research Letters by Lühr et al.—with Jesper Gjerloev as co-author—is selected as a "Research Spotlight" by the journal's editors.

April:  Award: Martino Marisaldi of BCSS and INAF - IASF Bologna wins the Fulbright Research Scholar Grant to spend a six month research period starting in October 2015 at the Dept. of Electrical and Computing Engineering at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

May:  Award: The Solar-Terrestrial Sciences (ST) Division of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) awards Christer van der Meeren the EGU Outstanding Student Poster (OSP) award for his poster entitled "Observations of simultaneous multi-constellation GNSS scintillation in nightside aurora over Svalbard".

June:  Award: Annet Eva Zawedde is awarded the Martin Landrøs Prize for outstanding master's thesis. Thesis title: "Weak to Moderate Recurrent Storms and their Influence on the Middle Atmosphere Composition in 2008". Thesis supervisor: Hilde Nesse Tyssøy.

June:  Funding: UiT/The Arctic University of Norway is awarded NOK 288 million for EISCAT_3D, with Kjellmar Oksavik as co-investigator. The award from the Research Council of Norway (RCN) will be used to build the first stage of the most advanced 3D imaging radar system in the world.

August:  Funding: A SWARM-SuperMAG project with Jesper Gjerloev as Principal Investigator receives funding from ESA.

August:  Outreach: Kjartan Olafsson and Arve Aksnes are invited to be editors of the Space Physics Section of the Norwegian online encyclopedia entitled Store Norske Leksikon.

September:  Publication is highlighted: Xiangchai Chen has been a co-author on a paper by Han et al. (2015). One of the figures from this paper is featured on the cover of the Journal of Geophysical Research.

September:  Outreach: Hilde Nesse Tyssøy is one of the authors of the Norwegian science anthology book Stjerneklart.

November:  Publication is highlighted: Jesper Gjerloev has been a co-author on a paper by Dods et al. (2015) which reports on how SuperMag magnetometers behave like a social network by “talking” to each other through vectors. The paper is highlighted in Science Newsline.

December:  Research grant: The proposal "Solar effects on natural climate variability in the North Atlantic and Arctic (SOLENA)" was accepted for funding by the Research Council of Norway. PI: Yvan Orsolini


January:  Instrumentation: UiB delivers the ground model for ASIM.The purpose of this model is to verify the functionality of the electronics design before building the actual Flight Model.

February:  Collaboration: Collaboration was initiated with the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.

May:  Conference: UNIS hosted the 2014 SuperDARN workshop from 25th - 30th May.

September:  Award: Thomas Gjesteland is awarded the Yaras Birkeland prize of 2014. Read more (in Norwegian).


April:  Media: A press release entitled “Scientists detect dark lightning linked to visible lightning” was published by AGU, based on a GRL-paper by Nikolai Østgaard, Thomas Gjesteland and Brant Carlson from the Birkeland Centre for Space Science. Other authors include A. B. Collier, S. A. Cummer, G. Lu, and H. J.Christian. A video was also uploaded to the AGU YouTube site. The press release resulted in many news articles around the world.

May: Award:  Beate Krøvel Humberset was awarded an EGU Outstanding student poster (OSP) award for her poster presentation "Untangling the space-time ambiguity of pulsating aurora", abstract N° EGU2013-833 in session ST3.2. S