Jicamarca Radio Observatory Panorama, Peru

The Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) is the equatorial anchor of the Western Hemisphere chain of Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) observatories extending from Lima, Peru to Søndre Strømfjord, Greenland. JRO is the premier scientific facility in the world for studying the equatorial ionosphere. The Observatory is about half an hour drive inland (east) from Lima and 10 km from the Central Highway (11°57′05″S 76°52′27.5″W, 520 meters ASL). The magnetic dip angle is about 1°, and varies slightly with altitude and year. The radar can accurately determine the direction of the Earth's magnetic field (B) and can be pointed perpendicular to B at altitudes throughout the ionosphere. The study of the equatorial ionosphere is rapidly becoming a mature field due, in large part, to the contributions made by JRO in radio science.

JRO’s main antenna is the largest of all the incoherent scatter radars in the world. The main antenna consists of a 300m x 300m square array composed of 18,432 cross-polarized dipoles. The main research areas of the observatories are: the stable equatorial ionosphere, ionospheric field aligned irregularities, the dynamics of the equatorial neutral atmosphere and meteor physics.

The Observatory is a facility of the Instituto Geofísico del Perú operated with support from the US National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreements through Cornell University.

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