International Programs and Projects

International Programs


VarSITI (Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact) is the international scientific program from 2014 to 2018 operated by the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP).


iLEAPS (Integrated Land Ecosystem - Atmosphere Processes Study) aims to enhance the understanding of how interacting biological, chemical and physical processes transport energy and matter through the land – atmosphere interface at all scales from past to future and local to global, with particular emphasis on the human influence on these processes. The land-atmosphere interface is where humans primarily operate. Humans modify the land surface in many ways that influence the fluxes of energy and trace gases between land and atmosphere. Their emissions change the chemical composition of the atmosphere and anthropogenic aerosols change the radiative balance of the globe directly by scattering sunlight back to space and indirectly by changing the properties of clouds. Feedback loops among all these processes, land, the atmosphere, and biogeochemical cycles of nutrients and trace gases extend the human influence even further. iLEAPS focuses on the basic biogeochemical processes that link land-atmosphere exchange, climate, the water cycle and tropospheric chemistry.

International Projects


SuperDARN (Super Dual Auroral Radar Network) is an international collaboration project by eleven countries in the world. SuperDARN consists of twenty-two sites in the northern hemisphere and twelve sites in the southern hemisphere, covering over the northern and southern high- and mid-latitude regions. The Hokkaido East / West radars, i.e., Hokkaido Pair of (HOP) radars, were constructed by ISEE, Nagoya Univ., and are located at the lowest geomagnetic latitude among the SuperDARN radars.



 The Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) project is a national flagship project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and Hokkaido University are playing the key roles in this project, and will continue to carry out for approximately four-and-a-half years from September 2015 to March 2020. This project aims to elucidate the changes in the climate and environment, clarify their effects on human society, and provide accurate projections and environmental assessments for internal and external stakeholders so that they can make appropriate decisions on the sustainable development of the Arctic region. The ArCS promotion office was established in CICR/ISEE to carry out and enhance the project especially focusing on the material cycle and the fluxes (emission and absorption) of the greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) over the Arctic circumpolar region (especially over the Alaska and Siberia), collaborating with NIPR, JAMSTEC, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tohoku University, Kitami Institute of Technology, Osaka Prefecture University, and Shinshu University.


EISCAT project

The EISCAT Scientific association operate several IS radars in northern Scandinavia.
As an associate member, Japan run special experiments using the EISCAT radars.
ISEE group has operated several instruments such as a sodium LIDAR, an MF radar, optical imagers at the EISCAT Tromsoe site to study the polar upper atmosphere.


PSTEP Project

Although solar activity may significantly impact the global environment as well as socio-economic systems, the mechanisms for solar eruptions and the subsequent processes have not yet been fully understood. Thus, modern society, which is supported by advanced information systems, is at a risk from severe space weather disturbances. Project for Solar-Terrestrial Environment Prediction (PSTEP) was launched in order to improve this situation through synergy between the basic science research and the forecast operation.


Optical Mesosphere Thermosphere Imagers

The Optical Mesosphere Thermosphere Imagers (OMTIs) are the optical instruments that measures dynamical variation of the upper atmosphere through nocturnal airglow and auroral emissions. OMTIs consist of airglow imagers, Fabry-Perot Interferometers, and airglow temperature photometers, and are installed at many ground-based stations in Canada, Russia, Japan, South-East Asia, Australia, Northern Europe, and Africa.


ISEE Magnetometer Network

ISEE magnetometer network is the ground-based magnetometer network to study storms, substorms, and ELF/ULF waves. This network consists of 64-Hz sampling induction magnetometers and 1-Hz sampling fluxgate magnetometers in Canada, Russia, Japan, and Indonesia.



ISEE ELF/VLF network is the ground-based loop-antenna network to study natural ELF/VLF waves from the magnetosphere and from lightening. This network consists of 20-100kHz sampling loop antennas in Canada and Japan.

ICCON Project

Nobeyama Radioheliograph (NoRH) is a radio interferometer specially designed to observe the full disk of the Sun at 17 and 34 GHz. From the fiscal year 2015, ISEE is operating NoRH as a representative of the International Consortium for the Continued Operation of Nobeyama Raidoheliograph (ICCON).

PWING Project

This project constructs a longitudinal observation network at 8 ground-based stations at subauroral latitudes (magnetic latitudes: ~60 degree) to monitor 2-dimentional images of particle precipitation and ULF/ELF/VLF waves at frequencies of 0.1Hz - 10 kHz. We combine these longitudinal network observations with the ERG satellite, which will be launched in fiscal year 2016, and global modeling. Using these comprehensive observations and modeling, we provide global distribution and quantitative evaluation of the dynamical variation of plasmas and waves in the inner magnetosphere at L~4 Re near the plasmapause.

See the past projects here.