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Types of data

The basic data measured with the incoherent scatter radar technique are profiles of electron density, electron and ion temperature, and ion velocity. Subsequent processing allows a wealth of further parameters, describing the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere, to be derived. A selection of well-designed radar pulse schemes are available to adapt the data-taking routines to many particular phenomena, occurring at altitudes between about 50 km and more than 2000 km. Depending on geophysical conditions, a best time resolution of less than one second and an altitude resolution of a few hundred meters can be achieved.

Operations of 3000-4000 hours each year are distributed equally between Common Programmes (CP) and Special Programmes (SP). At present, six well-defined Common Programmes are run regularly, for between one and three days, typically about once per month, to provide a data base for long term synoptic studies. A large number of Special Programmes, defined individually by Associate scientists, are run to support national and international studies of both specific and global geophysical phenomena.

Data can also be accessed through the schedule page.

Rules of the Road

EISCAT data are normally provided freely to all users, however users downloading data must agree to respect our rules of the road. Data copied to other databases, archives, distributors, etc. are also covered by the same rules.

These data are the intellectual property of the EISCAT Scientific Association. They may be freely used for the purpose of illustration for teaching and for non-commercial scientific research, provided that the source is acknowledged and to the extent justified by the non-commercial purpose to be achieved. Substantial use of these data should be discussed at an early stage with knowledgeable scientists within the EISCAT Scientific Association (EISCAT’s Headquarters,, can provide advice on suitable contacts) in order to clarify matters of use, calibration and potential co-authorship. Any further distribution of these data, including installation in any database, must be accompanied by this statement and subject to the same conditions of use.

The statement above applies to all data obtained through this service. Further distribution and use are allowed, but any such redistribution must also be accompanied by, and is subject to the provisions of, that statement. (A text version is available for redistribution.)

Please contact Thomas Ulich if you need advice on what constitutes a proper use of this resource.

Access to EISCAT data, in all forms, follows, as far as is practical, the recommendations and practices of ICSU (the International Council of Scientific Unions) and provides unrestricted access for scientific research, subject only to reasonable charges to cover costs of copying and distribution, to all EISCAT data where these principally comprise the accumulated archives of raw and analysed (quick-look) Common and Special Program (more than one year old) data. If you use some of our data, please remember to add a brief acknowledgement before you dispatch your completed your work for publication.


In common with most externally funded institutions, EISCAT requests that an acknowledgement of the following general form be added to all publications which use data originating in any part of the EISCAT facilities.

EISCAT is an international association supported by research organisations in China (CRIRP), Finland (SA), Japan (NIPR and ISEE), Norway (NFR), Sweden (VR), and the United Kingdom (UKRI)

If you need further clarification on this point, please contact Thomas Ulich in the first instance. Thank you!