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Integrating High Resolution Solar Physics

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SOLARNET (Integrating High Resolution Solar Physics)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-07-01 do 2021-12-31

The study of the sun, or Solar Physics, is a vibrant field of research because the intricate structure of the Sun's magnetic fields, the solar activity cycle and the Sun’s influence on the heliosphere possess a direct impact on the human environment, climate as well as space weather.

However, the full characterisation of solar activity requires high-class multi-instrument observations. Access to such ground-based infrastructures is limited. Besides, exploiting the large data volumes that are recorded by the space missions and ground-based installations is a significant challenge.

SOLARNET focusses on integrating the activities of European Solar Physics researchers’ community and open up key national and regional research infrastructures/ facilities in the field of solar physics to all European researchers, from both academia and industry, to ensure their optimal use and joint development. The aim is create unique opportunities by opening routes towards working with the best available science data, data analytics tools, and state-of-the-art theoretical models required for advancing the understanding of the intricate processes on the Sun which has a huge impact on our planet and space weather.

Specific objectives are:
• Form a strengthened European solar physics community along with complementary expertise in observational techniques, instrumentation, theoretical astrophysics, numerical simulations and modelling.

• Make key research installations easily accessible for the benefit of all researchers that support European Solar Physics research. These infrastructures are the telescope observatories, data repositories of the space missions and related data from theoretical modelling as well as computing resources (supercomputing centre).

• Improve these research service infrastructures by upgrading and designing new instrumentation which will be essential for the European Solar Telescope (EST).

• An ensured budding well-trained young generation of scientists who are well-placed and has the expertise to take full advantage of the next generation of facilities under construction or being planned.

SOLARNET H2020 aims to achieve the above objectives via its three complementary activity-pillars of actions, namely Networking Activities, Joint Research Activities and Transnational Access & Service Programmes.
At the end of 36-month duration of the project, we have together realized the following:

Arranged 3 board meetings (D1.2 D1.2 D1.3) and one mid-term review meeting where the whole consortium participated along with external reviewer and advisory board.

Organized three online Forum Meetings which served as a networking platform between scientists, solar telescope operators and database operators for further development (D2.4 D2.5 D2.6)

Using several telescopes to observe the same solar object is potentially a way to increase scientific information. This this regard, guidelines for co-observations between ALMA and ground-based solar telescopes have been developed (D2.19).

Service mode is potentially much more efficient than traditional PI visitor mode campaigns and is likely to pay an important role for future telescopes like the EST. The pandemic has led to there being more service mode observations, and more variations of that mode, than originally planned. Guidelines for good practices and service observations have been proposed (D2.10).

The joint research and networking are essential for exploitation and dissemination of results. Therefore, networking activities for instrumentation has been organized in the form of virtual workshop and the results documented for future reference (D2.12). Big-Data storage possibilities have been explored and reported (D2.22).
Various hands-on training schools and online workshops have been organized especially for early career researchers, including outreach programmes and public engagement trainings (D3.5 D3.7 D4.3)

The manufacturing of the metallic slicer unit coated with silver was successfully carried out ahead the milestone date (D6.5 M12). The prototype built fulfils the optical specifications requirements.

The development of the data pipelines required for the data reduction of the spectral datasets so that they can be used in the MOMFBD image reconstruction code (D6.8) Design concept of a Narrow-Band Tunable-Filter Imager for EST was analyzed (D6.13)

Essential studies and technology research for running an MCAO system at EST have been carried out (WP7),

Completed the design of the full-disk telescopes and finished the Stokes inversion code (D8.6). Major progress is made in the data homogenization and flare detection algorithms (WP8, D8.9).

Within the first 18-month period encompassing 3 application calls under the mobility programme 11 early stage researchers and 4 senior researchers have been provided support to carry out their research stay (D3.3). Later, due to the pandemic, the mobility programme has been replaced by virtual mentoring programme. 6 early stage career researchers have been accepted for the programme, out of which 3 have already completed the programme.

19 + 11 user projects (PR1 + (PR2) have been supported by SOLARNET at the installations of GREGOR, SST, THEMIS and Piz Daint supercomputer centre. A total of 186 scientists primarily across European organizations benefitted as a result of making these infrastructures available while travel support were provided to some scientists (2 persons/group) to execute observing campaigns on-site. Due to the COVID situation, some of observing campaigns were carried out remotely (primarily for GREGOR) and in service-mode (for SST) (D9.1 D9.2).

So far 100 peer-reviewed publications acknowledging EU funding have been generated from the project.

Out of the total 70 deliverables and 20 milestones set out as targets to be completed by month 36 of the project, we have been able to achieve 57 deliverables and 14 milestones. The deliverables and milestones which could not be delivered during this period had to be postponed primarily due to the COVID situation and shall be completed within the next reporting period together with the remaining final set of deliverables and milestones.
• Better access to world-class research infrastructure (combination of space and ground-based solar observations as well as interconnected European data repositories and supercomputing facilities).
• Human capital development (trained researchers and next-generation of solar observers)
• Promotion of gender balance and equality in science via networking, joint research, mobility and trans-national access & service programmes.
• Creation of a value-chain collaborative network via joint research activities and international openness.
• Development of new advanced capabilities such as research methods, technical/ instrumentation advancements, computational tools, and data processing softwares.
• Dissemination of scientific knowledge in terms of publications, conference proceedings, project website, newsletters and outreach activities.
• The additional participation by private enterprises and non-European research institutions maximizes the impact on a global scale and enhance innovation capacity.
Overview of SOLARNET: High-resolution Solar Physics Network