Head of laboratory: Antonova V.P., Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Direction of work:
- monitoring of atmospheric electric field, thermal and slow neutrons and meteorological variables at the high-mountain experimental base “Cosmostation”;
- study of ionosphere activities connected to solar activity, geomagnetic field disruptions, and atmospheric processes on Earth; research of the ionosphere’s structural properties under various settings and testing of current ionosphere models under conditions specific to the Kazakhstan region;
- the study of processes in the ionosphere associated with active processes on the Sun, disturbances in the geomagnetic field and the Earth’s atmosphere; study of the structural characteristics of the ionosphere under various conditions, testing of existing ionosphere models for the conditions of the Kazakhstan region;
- the study of the atmospheric electric field, the study of the connection between cosmic rays and thunderstorm activity, high-energy atmospheric processes, the study of earthquake precursors by changes in the atmospheric electric field and the strength of slow neutrons, among other cosmic ray-related geophysical effects;
- development of new efficient methods (analytical and numerical) to describe the dynamics of a rarefied gas and plasma at the kinetic level based on the kinetic equation for a two-particle distribution function, built in the Boltzmann approximations, and on the introduction of the notion of pairs of quasiparticles.
Scientific research in the laboratory is carried out mainly on the basis of the analysis of the results of long-term monitoring of space and geophysical parameters at the high-mountain base “Cosmostation” and on the instruments of the institute.
A digital ionosonde of the “PARUS” model, created by the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN, Troitsk, Russia), has been used by the Institute of the Ionosphere since 2003 and is capable of working in automatic mode. A software module for the semi-automatic processing of ionograms is added to the ionosphere observation system, improving processing precision and streamlining the setup of the data storage system.
Scientific research in the laboratory is carried out mainly on the basis of the analysis of the results of long-term monitoring of cosmic and geophysical parameters at the high-mountain base “Cosmostation” and on the territory of the institute.
Regular observations of ionospheric parameters (the only ones in Kazakhstan) at the Institute of Ionosphere have been carried out since 1957 using the method of ground-based vertical radio sounding. 11 parameters are recorded that characterize the state of the ionosphere in the range of 100–400 km.
From 2003 to the present, the Institute of Ionosphere has been operating a digital ionosonde of the “PARUS” model, developed at the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN, Troitsk, Russia), capable of operating in automatic mode. The ionosphere observation system is supplemented with a software module for semi-automatic processing of ionograms, which increases the accuracy of processing and simplifies the organization of the data storage system.
The experimental base for measuring thermal and slow neutrons and the atmospheric electric field is located at the high-mountain station of the Institute of Ionosphere “Cosmostation” (height 3340 m above sea level).
Measurements of thermal and slow neutrons with 10 second time resolution are organized. The goal is to study the nature of variations in the intensity of thermal neutrons, their origin, the allocation of a flux of thermal neutrons of lithospheric origin during the activation of seismic processes, the study of dynamic processes during thunderstorm activity. As part of the same program, the “ELIS-TS” complex was installed to record atmospheric electric fields with an extremely high time resolution for operation in thunderstorm conditions. The goal is to study the relationship between the electric fields of a thunderstorm atmosphere and cosmic rays, to study the mechanisms of interaction between the lower atmosphere and the ionosphere during non-stationary geophysical phenomena (thunderstorm activity, seismic activity), and to search for electromagnetic precursors of earthquakes. During the thunderstorm season (May-September), the installations are connected to the “Thunderstorm” experimental complex and are its constituent parts for experimental and theoretical study of dynamic processes in a thunderstorm atmosphere, initiation of lightning discharges in the atmosphere and other tasks. These studies are carried out jointly with the Physical Institute P.N. Lebedev RAS (Russia), the Institute of Radiophysical Research (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) and the Institute of Applied Physics RAS (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia). The results obtained were published in the journals Physical Review, Atmospheric Research, Physics Letters, Advances in Physical Sciences, Journal of Technical Physics, Geomagnetizm and Aeronomy, Radiophysics and Quantum Electronics and others, and were also widely discussed at international conferences.