Academy of Finland  
Funding decision
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title Kinetic Ionosphere–Magnetosphere Coupling with Hybrid Ions (KIMCHI)
Applicant / Contact person Pfau-Kempf, Yann
Decision No. 339756
Decision date 03.06.2021
Funding period 01.09.2021 - 28.02.2025
Funding 241 900
Project description
The Sun emits a constant stream of particles called the solar wind. Although the Earth's magnetic field forms a bubble called the magnetosphere which shields our planet, its interaction with the solar wind can lead to energetic particles hitting the high atmosphere in a layer called the ionosphere. While they are the source of the beautiful aurora, these energetic particles can harm technology and humans in space and on the ground. Such processes are known collectively as space weather. This project aims at greatly improving the understanding of both the coupling between the magnetosphere and the ionosphere, and the large-scale dynamics of the magnetosphere. Critical new features will be added to the world-leading numerical model Vlasiator, and novel processing techniques will be developed to analyse its output. Cutting-edge ground and spacecraft observations will be compared to the simulation results, providing unprecedented insights into space weather and its physical foundations.