Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. represented Manila Observatory in the 1st Workshop of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) last 6-10 November 2010 in Helwan University, Egypt

Last 6-10 Nov 2010, Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. participated in the 1st Workshop of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) at Helwan University, Egypt.  This workshop was was sponsored by UN, NASA, and JAXA.   Dr. Sugon was invited by Professor Kiyohumi Yumoto of SERC to attend this conference as a representative of Kyushu University’s SERC (Space Environment Research Center) Subcenter at Manila Observatory.  SERC maintains the MAGDAS/CPMN (Magnetic Device Acquisition System/Circumpan Pacific Magnetometer Network) of more than 50 magnetometers all over the world with six of them in the Philippines.  SERC provided for Dr. Sugon’s roundtrip plane fare and his accommodations at Helwan University Guest House; NASA and Manila Observatory provided for his living allowance.

Dr. Sugon gave two talks in two different sessions.

In the MAGDAS session, Dr. Sugon presented Manila Observatory’s plan to set up a server for the six Philippine magnetometers in Tuguegarao, Muntinlupa, Legaspi, Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.  This server, which shall send the data to SERC in Japan, would enable the analysis of real-time data of the Philippine magnetic field.  Dr. Sugon proposed to use the 3-axis data from 8 stations (6 from the Philippines and 2 from outside) to separate the lithospheric and magnetospheric contributions to the perturbations in the International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) using spherical harmonic expansions.  The lithospheric components can then be correlated with Philippine earthquakes greater than magnitude 6.0 in order to find magnetic precursors to such quakes–the main goal of SERC.  The magnetospheric components, on the other hand, can be correlated with the FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) radar data for the ionosphere and the  ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) satellite data for the solar wind, coronal mass ejections, and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF).

In the other session, Dr. Sugon met with Dr. Keith Groves of the SCINDA (Scintillation Network Decision Aid) project.  Upon th request of Dr. Groves, Dr. Sugon gave a talk on the ongoing research at the Manila Observatory.  The research plan is to simulate the ionosphere as 100 layer system with 100 possible values of electron density profile per layer.  A radio wave of a particular frequency from 0 to 12 MHz will then be sent to each layer and reflected back.  The virtual height of the ionosphere will then be determined from half of the total travel time multiplied to the speed of light.  The intensity of the return signal will be determined using Fresnel’s reflection and refraction formulas.  This is still a simple model because the earth’s magnetic field is not considered and the incidence is limited to vertical.  The aim of the study is to understand the ionogram signatures of plasma bubbles which are regions of electron depletions surrounded by high electron density regions.  These bubbles affect satellite to ground comunications such as GPS (Global Positioning Systems).

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. is an Assistant Professor of the Physics Department and a postdoctoral student of Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, SJ.  Dr. Sugon coordinates the Kyushu University’s SERC subcenter at the Manila Observatory.  The research staff of the SERC subcenter are Mr. Clint Bennett, an Insructor at the Physics Department and a Ph.D. in Physics student, and Mr. Adler Santos, an M.S. Physics student.

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. during the ISWI awarding ceremony

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. with Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto during a dinner cruise along the River Nile

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. before the Pyramids of Egypt.

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About ateneophysicsnews
Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

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