LINES OF INVESTIGATION
The institute is carrying out researches on 16 scientific issues within the framework of the tasks, determined by the Department of general physics and astronomy RAS, Ministry of science of the RF, other state structures and international agreements. 14 scientific projects are supported by the grants of the Russian Foundation of Fundamental Researches and INTAS. The main work of the Institute lies within the programs of fundamental researches of the Russian Academy of Science and its departments.
They include the following programs:
About 250 scientific works are published annually and about 100 reports are presented at international conferences by the institute employees.
Annual seminar "Physics of auroral phenomena" has been given in Apatity for 20 years where geophysics of Russia and near foreign countries partake. It is the Russian Foundation of Fundamental Researches that maintains financial support to the seminar.
The researches of the Earth magnetosphere structure and dynamics, physical processes of magnetospheric substorm, effects of particle intrusions into polar areas and study of low-frequency modes in the Earth magnetosphere rank as the most important activities of the institute.
Three geophysical observatories of the institute carry out permanent measurements of magnetic field variations and observations of northern lights. The magnetic stations with digital processing, worked up at the institute, are employed at the work. The received data are used during plan researches, published in the information bulletin and informed to the database of an international magnetic network IMAGE.
The institute worked out high-sensitivity TV cameras for night airglows registration. Due to employment of numeralization and image processing techniques, self-descriptiveness is increased and also fine effects of auroral dynamics can be discovered and investigated, which shows the complicated processes in the Earth magnetosphere. Auroral images processing helps to find out the fractal characteristics of the light brightness space distribution.
An example of Aurora TV image processing. The keogram at lower size depicts the movement of auroral forms in a North-South direction.
Under the leadership of the director of the institute E.D. Tereschenko, Dr.Sc. (Phys.-Math.), a unique method of ionospheric research - radio-tomography method was devised and developed by the institute. According to this method a chain of receivers picks up a radio signal from navigation satellites. Due to special computer programs the operation factors of ionosphere along the satellite trajectory are reproduced. The first radio-tomographical reproductions of electronic density bivariate distribution in ionosphere were received in 1990 jointly with the MSU employees, and in 1998 a research team of the institute was awarded State Prize of the Russian Federation for devising the radio-tomographical method. Due to combined usage of radio-tomographical chain and optical registration of lights by concurrently employed scanning photometers, the bivariate distribution of volumetric atmospheric exitance and electronic density distribution in the researched areas can be received.
An example of reproduction of electronic concentration distribution (Ne) in ionosphere according to the measurements of tomographical complex of the Polar Geophysical Institute at the stations in Scandinavia, from south to the north: N - Nurmiyarvi, K - Kokkola, E - Esrendzh, T - Tromse. A radio signal from the transiting satellite encountered ionosphere and simultaneous signal recept by the chain of stations allowed to reproduce bivariate distribution of exitance. The picture shows slanting zones of increased electronic concentration, connected with gravitation waves in neutral atmosphere.
Permanent observations at the station of cosmic rays in Apatity, an important part of the world network, have been underway for over 30 years. The permanent observations serve as a basis for relativist proton acceleration in solar flares during three cycles of solar activity. After upgrading of registering equipment at the station, a high time resolution was achieved and the influence of heterogeneities in solar wind on solar cosmic rays distribution. Today the neutron monitoring data can be found in Internet in real time and are used for "cosmic weather" forecasting.
The work is underway on computational modeling of physico-chemical processes in upper atmosphere, modeling of global distribution of magnetic field in near-Earth space, research of interaction of electronic and proton hydrogen beams with atmospheric gases.
The research of helium-geophysical factors impact on human health began in 1998.
Since 1996 researches of physico-chemical and dynamical processes in the Arctic atmosphere have been carried out. For the first time in the history of Russian Arctic the integrated measurements of ozone and nitric oxides in near-Earth space under different conditions of atmosphere illumination by the Sun and different meteorological conditions were fulfilled. A correlation was established between the statistics of total ozone fields above the Northern Europe and regional characteristics of atmospheric circulation and photochemical processes in stratosphere.
The second natural orthogonal function of total ozone winter anomalies (November - April) (TOMS, 1979 - 1992). In the months with high positive values of the index of North-Atlantic fluctuation one can see decrease of total ozone in the region, due to positive zonal semiring.
The institute is involved in active cooperation with foreign scientific bodies. Finland, Norway, Sweden, Dane, the United States, France, Czechia and Canada are among our partners. The joint researches of magnetospheric substorms, structure and dynamics of the northern light and processes in ionosphere and magnetosphere are performed with the help of terrestrial and satellite observations.
Jointly with the Laboratory of applied physics at the University of G. Hopkins, the USA, the characteristics of a new type of aurora intensifications in pre-midday and after-midday sectors of the day magnetosphere, received from the satellite "Polar" and the reasons for such phenomena were found out.
Within the framework of international cooperation in the Barents Region the Institute suggested a project of geophysical monitoring in the Arctic zone, providing for observations on the Spitzbergen archipelago.
Integrated measurements of ionospheric operation factors, upper atmosphere illumination characteristics and magnetic field variations in high-latitudes provide with new data on the cooperating components in the system: solar wind - magnetosphere - ionosphere.