About Solar Wind Aeroscope

The Solar Wind Aeroscope is an artistic instrument dealing with atmospheric conditions that depend on “space weather:” a storm of electromagnetic particles from the sun that constantly affects our atmosphere. It uses an Internet connection (in the gallery) or a radio receiver (in the wild) to tap into a global network of amateur HAM-radio stations known as WSPRnet. Through this network, the Aeroscope can “see” the atmospheric conditions caused by the solar wind.

This is possible because the signals from WSPRnet stem from places all over the world, often traveling for thousands of kilometers by repeatedly bouncing off the ionosphere at the border between earth and space. Since the ionosphere is created by the solar wind, it changes with space weather conditions while affecting WSPRnet activity. By looking at radio signals and where they come from, the Aeroscope can thus estimate space weather conditions. To make these measurements accessible to us as well, the Aeroscope translates solar wind activity into actual wind -- yielding a terrestrial weather station for extraterrestrial weather.

Published on  July 15th, 2014