STARE: Scandinavian Twin Auroral Radar Experiment

STARE (Scandinavian Twin Auroral Radar Experiment) was a coherent scatter ionospheric radar system, which consists of two radars: one in Hankasalmi, central Finland (62.3047 lat, 26.6494 lon) and another one in Midtsandan, central Norway (63.426 lat, 10.754 lon (recently corrected, see news item below)). STARE is part of the MIRACLE ground-based network which contains magnetometers, all-sky cameras, and STARE. The operations stopped in May 2005.

News (16 September 2009):

It was discovered that the geographic location of the Norway radar has been about 30 km wrong in north-south direction. The correct location is 63.426 lat, 10.754 lon). Thanks to Misha Uspensky for noticing and Tore Barlindhaug for confirming it. For most studies, this error is not relevant, but for detailed EISCAT-STARE comparisons it may have some significance.

News (2 December 2004):

Timing error in Finland data March 8 - December 2 2004. The error started to accumulate in March and reached 3 hours 41 minutes in December 2. No data in this interval should be used unless timing is not important or the error is somehow corrected.

(17 June 2003):

The Hankasalmi azimuth angles given in the FAQ were incorrect. The real values are shifted one beam width (3.6 deg) westward. The information in the FAQ is now corrected, the most westward beam points 31.7 deg west from the geographic north at Hankasalmi. The internally used program IHMETYS has also been fixed today (17 June 2003).

STARE data:

Help in using data:


The 2D electron flow vectors of STARE, as well as data from the other MIRACLE instruments, can be viewed with a Tela/TclTk program named IHMETYS, which can be accessed on by typing ihmetys [yyyymmdd] [hh:mm]. If you want to use IHMETYS, please contact us to arrange an account on sumppu, or a copy of the software.

Importance notice (Updated 19 Nov 1998): The hardware problems with Hankasalmi station have now been by and large corrected. Data produced since middle of June 1998 should be free of errors. The only remaining problem is that there is occassionally some interference from a local source. This is usually short-lived and in all beams simultaneously and thus not too difficult to distinguish from real data. One has to be careful if attempting statistical studies however. Data prior to June 16 suffers from some known hardware problems, one of them is that beams 3 and 6 were swapped. This is automatically fixed by the viewer program stare.t now. The Butler matrix also had some physical problems due to aging. All this means that data from November 1997 until June 1998 can be used for many purposes, such as viewing the vector plots, but if doing really detailed studies one should take these glitches into account.

More information: Pekka Janhunen (, tel. 358 9 1929 4635