Mid-Term-Review of the ERICA Project funded by ESA

8 May 2015

Today some researchers from Navigation Technologies Area, Politecnico di Torino and Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia took part in the ERICA project mid-term review. EquatoRial Ionosphere Characterization in Asia (ERICA) aims to monitor the ionosphere in the South-East Asian region to characterize the local features of the Equatorial Ionospheric Anomaly (EIA) and of the Equatorial Ionospheric Trough (EIT) by means of an ad hoc campaign of geomagnetic and ionospheric measurements.

ERICA is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The activities are designed and realized in close collaboration with researchers from Vietnamese and Indonesian institutions that will make available their facilities and competences. The mid-term review checked the status of the project, analyzing the first results and the first data collection. The researchers presented to ESA a first interesting and very strong ionosphere perturbation detected the on the the 17th of March, the Saint Patrick day, during a solar storm.

In the picture you can see Marco Pini and Gabriella Povero from the Navigation Technologies Area, Rodrigo Romero from Politecnico di Torino and Lucilla Alfonsi from the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanolgia (INGV). ESA and the other partners were connected via conference call. Moreover, Lucilla Alfonsi from INGV visited ISMB and Navigation Tecnologies' laboratory.

Background
In the last years the collaboration between Navigation Technologies Research Area and South-East Asia speed up thanks to several projects. In particular SEAGAL (2009-2010) and Growing NAVIS (2012-2015) projects funded the setup and the consolidation of a collaboration centre on GNSS technologies in Vietnam: the NAVIS Centre in Hanoi. The Growing NAVIS project – which is coordinated by NavSAS and is ending in these months – aims to boost the collaboration between the European and South-East Asian partners within the NAVIS Centre, exploiting both the NAVIS research capabilities and the Multi-GNSS environment. From 2013, NavSAS and NAVIS are collaborating in ionosphere monitoring projects.