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Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network

CHAIN site in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut

The Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN) is an array of ground-based radio instruments deployed in the Canadian Arctic and operated by the University of New Brunswick. The CHAIN instruments include high data-rate GPS receivers and digital ionosondes.[1] After passing through the Earth's ionosphere, microwave GPS signals carry information about the total electron content (TEC). This information is commonly used to improve the precision of GPS and to study ionospheric morphology.[2][3] Ionosondes transmit pulses of radio signals in the Medium Frequency (MF) and High Frequency (HF) ranges, whose echos are analyzed to measure height and density of the ionosphere. Advanced digital ionosondes used in the CHAIN network are also able to measure the bulk motion of ionospheric plasma.[4]

Most of the CHAIN instruments are located within the polar cap defined as a region of open magnetic field lines. The polar cap ionosphere is directly linked to the interplanetary magnetic field carried by the solar wind. Polar cap thus provides a vantage point for the study of energy exchange between the solar wind, magnetosphere and ionosphere.

CHAIN is an integral part of the Canadian Geospace Monitoring (CGSM) programme. It provides ground support for Canadian and international scientific space missions such as THEMIS and CASSIOPE.

In January 2012, the Canada Foundation for Innovation announced funding for the Expanded Canadian High-Arctic Ionospheric Network (ECHAIN). This funding was used to add 15 Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to the existing network of GPS receivers and radars of the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN). The data will contribute significantly to the progress of space research by providing a better understanding of the processes in the Sun-Earth system. [5]

CHAIN instrument sitesEdit

Location Station code Coordinates Instruments
Arctic Bay, Nunavut arcc 73°00′N 85°02′W / 73.00°N 85.03°W / 73.00; -85.03 GPS
Arviat, Nunavut arvc 61°06′N 94°04′W / 61.10°N 94.07°W / 61.10; -94.07 GPS
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut cbbc 69°06′N 105°07′W / 69.10°N 105.11°W / 69.10; -105.11 GPS, ionosonde
Churchill, Manitoba chuc 58°46′N 94°05′W / 58.76°N 94.09°W / 58.76; -94.09 GPS
Coral Harbour, Nunavut corc 64°11′N 83°21′W / 64.19°N 83.35°W / 64.19; -83.35 GPS
Eureka, Nunavut eurc 79°59′N 85°54′W / 79.99°N 85.90°W / 79.99; -85.90 GPS, ionosonde
Fort McMurray, Alberta mcmc 56°39′N 111°13′W / 56.65°N 111.22°W / 56.65; -111.22 GPS
Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories fsic 61°46′N 121°14′W / 61.76°N 121.23°W / 61.76; -121.23 GPS
Fort Smith, Northwest Territories fsic 60°02′N 111°56′W / 60.03°N 111.93°W / 60.03; -111.93 GPS
Gillam, Manitoba gilc 56°23′N 94°38′W / 56.38°N 94.64°W / 56.38; -94.64 GPS
Gjoa Haven, Nunavut gjoc 68°38′N 95°50′W / 68.63°N 95.84°W / 68.63; -95.84 GPS
Grise Fiord, Nunavut gric 76°25′N 82°54′W / 76.42°N 82.90°W / 76.42; -82.90 GPS
Hall Beach, Nunavut halc 68°46′N 81°16′W / 68.77°N 81.26°W / 68.77; -81.26 GPS, ionosonde
Iqaluit, Nunavut iqac 63°44′N 68°32′W / 63.73°N 68.54°W / 63.73; -68.54 GPS, ionosonde
Kugluktuk, Nunavut kugcc 67°49′N 115°08′W / 67.82°N 115.13°W / 67.82; -115.13 GPS
Ministik Lake, Alberta edmc 53°21′N 112°58′W / 53.35°N 112.97°W / 53.35; -112.97 GPS
Pond Inlet, Nunavut ponc 72°41′N 77°58′W / 72.69°N 77.96°W / 72.69; -77.96 GPS, ionosonde
Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut qikc 67°34′N 64°02′W / 67.56°N 64.03°W / 67.56; -64.03 GPS
Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan rabc 58°14′N 103°41′W / 58.23°N 103.68°W / 58.23; -103.68 GPS
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut ranc 62°49′N 92°07′W / 62.82°N 92.11°W / 62.82; -92.11 GPS
Repulse Bay, Nunavut repc 66°31′N 86°14′W / 66.52°N 86.23°W / 66.52; -86.23 GPS
Resolute, Nunavut resc 74°45′N 95°00′W / 74.75°N 95.00°W / 74.75; -95.00 GPS, ionosonde
Sanikiluaq, Nunavut sanc 56°32′N 79°14′W / 56.54°N 79.23°W / 56.54; -79.23 GPS
Taloyoak, Nunavut talc 69°32′N 93°34′W / 69.54°N 93.56°W / 69.54; -93.56 GPS


  1. ^ Jayachandran PT; et al. (2009). "The Canadian high arctic ionospheric network (CHAIN)". Radio Science. 44: RS0A03. doi:10.1029/2008RS004046.
  2. ^ Mannucci A; et al. (1999). "GPS and ionosphere". In Stone WR (ed) (ed.). Review of radio science 1996-1999. Wiley-IEEE Press. ISBN 978-0-7803-6003-7.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
  3. ^ Bust CS; Mitchell CN (2008). "History, current state, and future directions of ionospheric imaging". Rev. Geophys. 46: RG1003. doi:10.1029/2006RG000212.
  4. ^ MacDougall JW; Jayachandran PT (2001). "Polar cap convection relationship with solar wind". Radio Science. 36 (6): 1869–80. doi:10.1029/2001RS001007.
  5. ^ "UNB researcher given funding boost". University of New Brunswick. Retrieved 14 February 2012.

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