Dunedin Aurora

A Citizen Science Magnetic Observatory located in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Experimental Prototypes

This page is for prototype data, instruments, and software. Usually I'm just testing that gadgets are recording and displaying whatever data they're receiving. While this is happening, I'm also looking to see if there are any common trends appearing, especially during space weather events.

Power Harmonics

The idea here is that if we can't track the direct effects of space weather on the magnetic field, maybe we can observes it's effects by proxy, on the noise in the power network. Geomagnetically Induced Current is usually monitored directly in substation transformers. I want to see if any of this "leaks out" into the domestic power grid. Results have been ambivalent so far!

VLF Hiss

Hiss is a wide-band radio noise that originates in the ionosphere. Levels of hiss can change in response to space weather events, so tHis is an experiment to see how much can be detected in a suburban setting. Inspired by a paper "Wide band bursts of VLF noise at Hobart" by R. L. Dowden.

Hiss is captured by "Frankencoil 2" - a large horizontal 3m diameter open coil that has about 1000 turns of wire and is a form on induction magnetometer. Frankencoil was originally constructed in an unsuccessful attempt to try to detect geomagnetic micropulsations. The large effective area (About 7200 square metres) gives a strong signal which is fed to a very simple passive low pass RC filter designed for 1hz, and then to a simple galvanic isolation coil. a shielded cable takes the signal to a PC for monitoring.

Broadband RF - Last 24 Hours

A simple module called a "rectenna" generates a small voltage in response to ambient radio energy in the environment. Working as a filter for RF below 1MHz, this experiment looks to see if space weather impacts on the earth can be detected.