EISCAT_3D Opening Event
Short report (PDF)
The opening event for the construction of the first stage of the EISCAT_3D system took place in Tromsø and Storfjord, Norway, on 7 September 2017.
The day started in brilliant sunshine with a bus transport to UiT, the Arctic University of Norway, where the first part of the opening event was held. Anne Husebekk, the university rector, greeted us all welcome and Ingrid Mann, the leader of the Norwegian project consortium, presented a general overview of the EISCAT_3D project.
This was followed by short addresses from representatives of the EISCAT associate countries from which it was clear that there are high expectations from the international EISCAT user community for the future potential of the new system.
Finally, Craig Heinselman, EISCAT director, detailed the technical implementation of the EISCAT_3D system.
The opening event continued with a 90 minute long coach ride to the UiT Skibotn field station with a guide pointing out several interesting geological details along the way in the local and regional geography. The sunshine was still accompanying us.
At the field station, the official opening ceremony for the project was held. This included speeches by Knut Jentoft, the mayor of Storfjord municipality, and Craig Heinselman, and the unveiling of an EISCAT_3D plaque a symbol of the start of the project. This part of the programme also contained a musical performance with birch-bark horn and joiking.
After some refreshments, sparkling drinks and sandwiches, we were guided to the site where the core array will be built and then transported to the facilities of Storfjord Shooting Club in Hatteng for an extended lunch. The food consisted of a plate filled with local delicacies, and it was accompanied by more addresses from the university, the municipality, and EISCAT. There were also more musical entertainment covering the three different cultural traditions in the local area: the Norwegian, the Sami, and the Kven.
On the journey back to Tromsø, the couches stopped at the EISCAT site at Ramfjordmoen giving us a possibility to visit the EISCAT_3D test array that was recently installed there. This also provided a golden opportunity for a group photo thanks to the ever-present sun and the general good mood of the event participants.
The final part of the opening event day was a dinner at restaurant Scandic Ishavshotell. Several dinner courses and dinner speeches later, the evening concluded with a beautiful auroral display as if the ionosphere itself wanted to celebrate the beginning of the EISCAT_3D construction project. This was certainly a fitting final of a good starting day for an exciting project.