Armenia's Cosmic Ray Division
Activities and Achievements
Last updated March 2014

Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) is among the world’s top 5 scientific organizations in the fields of High Energy Astrophysics, Solar Physics, and Multivariate Statistical Analyses. CRD's Aragats Space Environmental Center (ASEC) is the one of the world's foremost ground based Space Weather Forecasting research organizations. In this area of excellence Armenia joins the United States, Germany, Japan, and Russia. Following is an introduction to the CRD and a sample of CRD’s accomplishments during the past 12 months. The support of the diaspora was crucial in allowing the CRD to make these impressive advancements:

CRD Infrastructure

CRD provides uninterrupted year-round operation of its two high altitude research stations on Mt. Aragats (Nor Ambert station at 2000m and the Aragats station near the summit at 3200 m) despite severe winter conditions. Data gathered from several cosmic ray monitoring systems at these stations is transferred to the CRD headquarters in Yerevan via wireless modems. The data is analyzed and posted on the CRD web site http://crdlx5.yerphi.am every 5 minutes for use by international partners.

 

CRD Personnel

Approximately 80 scientists, technicians, and support personnel are employed by the CRD. The head of CRD, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, is a visionary scientist who is determined to conduct world class science in Armenia. Additionally he teaches Physics at Yerevan State University. Five of his students conduct their thesis research at CRD facilities.

International Scientific Partnerships cover half of CRD’s needed Budget
The CRD has strong collaborations with the Institute of Nuclear Physics Research Center in Karlsruhe, Germany; Nagoya University in Japan; Stanford University in the USA; National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and Huntsman Cancer Research Center in the USA; the European Space Agency (ESA); and the European Committee On SPAce Research (COSPAR). Partnership with these institutions partially funds the research at the CRD.

March 2014 - Armenia Joins the Word-wide Lightening Location Network

CRD joined the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN), which is managed by the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. The Armenian stations fill a crucial void as there are no other stations for thousands of kilometers to the east or west; the nearest station to the southwest being in Tel-Aviv.


November 2013 – Armenian scientific papers sited more times per paper than papers from any other Country.

According to the World List of Best in Publishing and Citations, Armenia ranks number 64th for number of published papers in 2012, with 1058 papers in international refereed journals. USA is number one with 537,308 papers.
However, Armenia is number one in the number of times per paper on average other authors have referenced the Armenian papers in own publications, with a ratio of 2 citations per paper. USA comes in at 22 with less than one citation per paper on average. This is a measure of the importance of the scientific work conducted in Armenia. What is even more impressive for CRD is that 75% of the papers Armenia published in international journals come from the Yerevan Physics Institute, CRD’s parent organization.


September 2013 – CRD head and Yerevan Physics Institute Director, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian is also one of the Associate Editors of the international Space Weather Space Climate Journal.

Scientific Journal need expert editors who are able to ascertain the quality of the scientific work expressed in the articles submitted to the journal. Each article is independently reviewed by at least two expert reviewers after which the editorial staff must make a decision whether to print the article or not based on the recommendations of the reviewers and their own assessment. The editorial staff has the final say. It is a great achievement to be invited to serve on such a prestigious board.


September 2013 – (TEPA – 2013) Successful Conference in Armenia

The Terrestrial Elementary Particle Acceleration (TEPA-2013) attracted scientists from around the word to CRD’s Nor Ambert research station and conference center. Representatives from NASA, the European Space Agency, the Japan Atomic Commission, the Max Plan Institute in Germany,and universities from USA, Russia and around the world went to Armenia to present their work and to hear about others’ work on the subject. CRD young scientists had the opportunity to rub shoulders with the giants as well as forge friendships with other young scientists from around the world with whom they will be exchanging information for decades to come.


June 2013 - CRD Student Milestones

Two CRD students completed their Masters Degree in Physics at the Yerevan State University and are now applying for the PhD program at the Cosmic Ray Division at YerPhI. One student completed his Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at the Yerevan State University and will be working at CRD full time and one student intern from University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA spent the summer at the CRD learning about Thunderstorm Ground Enhancements - a new area of physics where CRD leads the world. Look for the press release coming soon.


March 2012 - APS announcement about Prof. Ashot Chilingarian's election as an APS Fellow.

American Physical Society Forum on International Physics - Spring 2012 Newsletter


February 2012 - The International Space Weather Initiative Report to the UN includes Armenia as a Leader.


“The International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) currently has 15 instrument array projects in deployment or under development. These are located in 101 countries and coordinated by scientists from Armenia, France, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.”, states the ISWI steering committee’s report to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Forty-ninth session held in Vienna, Austria on February 6 – 17, 2012. Professor Ashot Chilingarian (director of Yerevan Physics Institute and head of its Cosmic Ray Division) is one of the 17 elite international scientists from around the world that comprise the International Space Weather Initiative Committee. The ISWI committee held its annual meeting in Vienna during this time on February 14 and 15 to prepare the report for the UN session, to review progress and discuss future plans.



February 2012 - The International Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics Invitation to Armenia.


“Armenia has been very active in the Solar Terestrial Physics research area with lots of young researches active and making their presence known with excellent publications. Armenian scientists have also been contributing enormously to the physics of the Sun- Earth system by creating observing facilities and data analysis tools, and are recognized internationally. For this reason, I invite Armenia to become an official member of the Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)”. Says Nat Gopalswamy, the president of SCOSTEP, an interdisciplinary body of the International Council for Science (ICSU), in a letter to Dr. Samvel Harutyunyan, the chairman of the Armenian State Committee of Science.



December 2011, PROF CHILINGARIAN WAS ELECTED AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY FELLOW.


Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, the director of Yerevan Physics Institute and the head of its cosmic ray division is named and APS fellow this this year.


The APS announcement reads as follows: "Ashot Chilingarian, Yerevan Physics Insitute: For bringing one of the world's largest facilities for monitoring different species of secondary cosmic rays located in Armenia to the International Space Weather initiative as a global warning system from violent space events. Nominated by: Forum on International Physics"


Congratulations to Prof. Chilingarian!



December 2011, Prof. Chilingarian Invited to Report on the Research on Aragats at the Annual American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. Dr. Bagrad Mailyan also to Present His Work.
Because of the ground breaking research conducted on Mt. Aragats the American Geophysical Union Conference committee has invited Prof. Chilingarian, to report on CRD’s research. Accompanying Chilingarian will be Dr. Bagrad Mailyan, one of the young scientists who recently received his PhD while conducting his research at the Cosmic Ray Division. At this same conference, Dr. Mailyan will present his work on the energy spectra of the gamma rays and the electric fields which accelerate the electrons within thunderclouds.


March 2011, The 24-th Solar Activity Cycle Produced the First Violent Blast. Aragats and SEVAN Monitors Took Excellent Data.
The sun unleashed its strongest solar flare in nearly five years on Feb 15 2011, sending a massive wave of charged particles toward Earth. The Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), a huge cloud of charged particles, reached the Earth in approximately 3 days and triggered a sizeable geomagnetic storm and a deep Forbush decrease (Fd). Fd is a rapid decrease in the observed galactic cosmic ray intensity following a CME arrival. Variety of the particle detectors of the Aragats Space Environmental Center (ASEC) in Armenia and the Space Environmental Viewing and Analysis Network (SEVAN), a worldwide network, registered the Fd in all details.


September 2010, the Thunderstorms and Elementary Particle Acceleration (TEPA-2010) conference was held from September 6 through 11, 2010 in the Nor Amberd international conference centre of Artem Alikhanyan National Laboratory (AANL), formerly known as Yerevan Physics Institute, in Armenia. The conference was organized by the Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) of AANL, Armenia and Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Moscow State University, Russian Federation. The conference was sponsored by AANL, the international Committee On Space Research (COSPAR) and the Armenian State Science Committee. Forty scientists and students from USA, UK, Germany, Mexico, Russia and Armenia attended the conference


September 2009, CRD Delegation at the Balkan, Black and Caspian Sea Regional conference on Heliophysical Phenomena and the Earth Environment.
On September 4-18, 2009 a delegation from the Yerevan Physics Institute (YerPhI) consisting of Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, YerPhi's director and head of its Cosmic Ray Division (CRD), with CRD scientists and engineers participated in the International conference on the Heliophysical Phenomena and the Earth Environment in Shibenik, Croatia. The regional meeting of Balkan, Black Sea, and Caspian Sea participants was held for the third time within the framework of the International Heliophysical Year, now being continued as the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI). This initiative is supported by NASA and the United Nation's Outer Space Office in Vienna, Austria.


December 2008, SEVAN Detectors Deployed in Bulgaria and Croatia

Construction of the SEVAN (Space Environmental Viewing and Analysis Network) network has started within the framework of the International Heliophysical Year and United Nations Basic Space Science (UNBSS) program focusing on deployment of arrays of small inexpensive instruments around the world. The Cosmic Ray Division of the Alikhanyan Physics Institute donates scintillators, photomultipliers and Data Acquisition electronics to donor countries. The first four SEVAN modules operated at Aragats Space Environmental Center in Armenia, at altitudes 1000, 17000, 2000 and 3200 m in Yerevan and on the slopes of mountain. Aragats. Installation of the first SEVAN detector abroad was performed by the group of CRD experts in December 2008 in Croatia and Bulgaria. The first test demonstrated the high reliability of SEVAN detectors operation.

These units will be deployed at the universities and research centers of developing countries to perform survey and monitoring of the most dangerous space storms and to involve new generations of students and scientists in space research.

A further step towards creating world-wide network will be the development of databases and on-line data flow from remote detectors for mutual analysis and issuing alerts and forecasting on upcoming space storms. The potential recipients of particle detectors in this new initiative are Croatia, Slovakia, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, Indonesia, and India. When fully deployed the SEVAN network will provide reliable monitoring of the Sun by at least one detector 24 hours and by two detectors 18 hours every day.

 

September 2008, International Workshop “Forecasting of Radiation and Geomagnetic Storms by Networks of Particle Detectors” Held in Armenia

From September 29 to October 3 the Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) of the Alikhanyan Physics Institute hosted the International Astroparticle Physics Symposium “Forecasting of the Radiation and Geomagnetic Storms by Networks of Particle Detectors (FORGES-2008)” at CRD’s International Conference Center, Nor Amberd, Armenia.  The focus of the Symposium was pointed on the Space Weather drivers and on possibilities of the networks of particle detectors measuring changing fluxes of neutral and charged particles to forewarn on upcoming severe radiation and geomagnetic storms. Radiation and geomagnetic storms can interfere with electronic systems on earth and damage satellites in space. Thus forecasting such events is extremely important.

The conference lasted a week. Approximately 40 scientists and students from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Croatia, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, USA, Costa-Rica and Armenia attended the symposium. The conference met for six hours on each of the conference days, split into morning and afternoon sessions, with free time between the sessions for ongoing individual exchanges or outdoor activities.

The core activities of the conference were based on lectures by invited scientists, followed by 15 minute discussion periods. Participants listened to 8 invited lectures and 25 original Papers.

 

September 9-12 2008, Participation of the CRD delegation in the European Cosmic Ray Symposium

The 21st ECRS - European Cosmic Ray Symposium was held at the Technical University of Košice, Slovakia, September 9-12, 2008.

Approximately 150 scientists from 20 European countries presented 76 and 120 poster presentations. The Armenian delegation (A.Chilingarian and G.Hovsepyan), as usual, participated in the European projects meetings, and at INTAS 8777 project meeting they reported on new electronics commissioning for the large Aragats Multichannel Muon Monitor (AMMM) and calculations of the most probable primary proton energies for the Aragats particle detectors.

Meetings were also held with the Bulgarian and Croatian delegations concerning the installation of SEVAN particle detectors. Both groups already prepare PM and scintillator housings. It was settled that the Armenian experts would finalize the detector assembly in late autumn or winter 2008.

 

August 29- 30, 2008, CRD- GIAN- DAAD Symposium Hosted in Nor- Amberd, Armenia

The CRD- GIAN- DAAD Symposium “Advanced Information Technologies in Collaborations: Preconditions for Constructing Effective Networks of Researchers and Facilities” was held at the Nor- Amberd International Conference Center August 29- 30, 2008.

The 2-day seminar hosted 25 participants from Iran, Germany and Armenia. 15 papers were presented during the following 2 sessions:

·         Research and Networking: International Collaborations and the Challenges of Millenium Development Goals.

·         Special Session Dedicated to Solar Radiation and Hazard Prevention of the Occasion of International Heliophysical Year.

The conference participants were also familiarized with the particle detectors at the Aragats research station. Karen Arakelyan and Gagik Hovsepyan from CRD staff introduced them to ASEC monitors registering charged and neutral fluxes of cosmic rays.

 

July 2008, Armenia at the 37th COSPAR Congress in Canada

July 13-23 Montréal hosted the 37th International Scientific Assembly which is considered as one of the greatest events since COSPAR foundation in 1958. The COSPAR Scientific Assembly provides the world’s largest interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of recent results in realm of space research and, therefore, is a particularly important meeting for members of participating in the scientific business activities organized in the context of this congress.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and National Research Council of Canada co-sponsored the weeklong gathering of more than 2,500 scientists and students from 50 countries who presented 1,500 reports in more than 87 sessions covering all topics of Space Research: such as “planetary protection” and “ jet dynamics in Supernovae explosions”.

Head of the Cosmic Ray Division (CRD), Professor Ashot Chilingarian, participated in COSPAR Congress as Armenia’s official representative to this organization and a member of the Committee’s Council. He plays a crucial role in the Committee’s council, particularly in the area of promoting space research for developing countries. During the COSPAR assembly in Canada, he chaired a session and presented three papers resulting from cosmic ray research in Armenia.

June 24, 2008, Armenia Celebrating the 100 Year Anniversary of Artem Alikhanyan (1908 – 2008)

On June 24, 2008, Armenia celebrated the 100 year anniversary of one of its most renowned scientists, Artem Alikhanyan.

The Yerevan Physics Institute organized a number of events devoted to this anniversary. On June 24 Alikhanyan’s former friends and colleagues paid tribute to their great teacher laying flowers to his grave and monument. After, in the National Academy of Sciences, a memorial session was held devoted to his centenary anniversary. The same day the opening ceremony of memorial plaque was held at 18 Bagramyan street; former headquarters of YerPhI.

The last event organized in honor of Alikhanyan was a scientific session devoted to the Alikhanyan’s scientific activity held in Nor- Amberd Cosmic ray station.  A film devoted to the memory of Alikhanyan was shown at the very beginning of the seminar. During the three hour long seminar guests and former colleagues of Alikhanyan presented reports and related memorable events from Alikhanyan’s life. A banquet was prepared for the participants of the seminar at the dining hall of the conference center.

 

September 2008, CRD to Monitor Solar Radio Signals

On September 1 Professor Hartmut Gemmeke from the German Research Center at Karlsruhe gave a seminar at CRD where he proposed installing at CRD new type of antennas to detect radio-bursts from solar flares and CMEs. Seminar followed by assembling the antenna that Hartmut had brought from Germany. Karen Arakelyan, David Pokhsraryan and Gagik Hovsepyan from CRD staff not only installed the hardware, but also registered first spectra of radio frequency intensities in Yerevan region. These first results will be followed by spectra measurements at Nor Amberd and Aragats research stations. After collecting initial data the decision will be made on location and configuration of new antenna network for solar physics and space weather research. The fruitful collaborations between CRD and German physicists continue.

June 2008, the Armenian Delegation at the Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and Basic Space Science

As a part of the outreach activities for the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) which started in 2007, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) organized a five-day Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and Basic Space Science in Sozopol, Bulgaria, from 2–6 June 2008.

Approximately 150 participants from 51 countries attended the Workshop. The Armenian delegation to the conference included 5 Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) employees supported by CRD projects and 2 students of Yerevan State University, supported by UN and NASA.

The workshop highlighted front-line research results with a deep impact on the development of space sciences and geo sciences and reviewed the achievements of the past three workshops in the establishment of low-cost, ground-based, worldwide instrument arrays and coordinated investigation programs as implemented through IHY 2007.

The Armenian delegation delivered 4 oral and 8 poster presentations. All presentations were based on the Aragats Space Environmental Center (ASEC) data and on the first results from CRD’s SEVAN particle detector network.

 

September 24-27, 2007, CRD at the Solar Extreme Events 2007: Fundamental Science and Applied Aspects, Athens, Greece

CRD participated in the bi-annual International Symposium “Solar Extreme Events 2007” held in Athens, Greece.

The aim of this International Symposium, similar to that of SEE 2005 held in Nor-Amberd, Armenia, was to provide a world forum for the discussion of recent interesting events in the coupled solar-terrestrial system, which attracted the attention of scientists, engineers and the public.

 

September 2007, Lebedev-CRD International Cosmic Ray Workshop ARAGATS-2007" Held in Nor-Amberd, Armenia

The International Cosmic Ray Workshop "ARAGATS-2007" organized by the Moscow Lebedev Physical Institute and the Yerevan Physics Institute was held September 9-13, 2007 in Nor-Amberd, Armenia. The Workshop focused on the cosmic ray and gamma ray data collection, analysis and interpretation relevant to the study of the knee energy region of the primary cosmic ray energy spectrum on data collected with the GAMMA and MAKET-ANI arrays on Mt. Aragats and other facilities located on mountain elevations as well as closer to sea level.

The numerous close discussions among the several research groups working in this area served an important ground on the way to resolving differences between them and aimed at better understanding of the knee origin. This Workshop was a logical successor to a very successful Workshop held in Kazakhstan at the Tien-Shan station in August, 2006.

 

March 31 - April 3, 2007, CRD Hosted Workshop on Particle Networks for Space Weather Research

Rainer Hippler from Institut fuer Physik Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universitaet Greifswald, Germany Erwin Flueckiger from Bern University, Switzerland Lev Dorman and Lev Pustilnik from Israel Cosmic Ray & Space Weather Center and Emilio Segre Observatory, Israel participated in the workshop.

The workshop included: Meeting CRD electronics group members; demonstration of new electronics to be used in the project; discussions; Visit to Yerevan Physics Institute, CRD headquarters, electronics lab, Space education Center. Meeting with CRD students and their short presentations, as well as discussion on the possible participation in FP7 program and on the on-line integration of data from surface and space born facilities.

 

July 23-29, 2006, Participation of the Armenian delegation  in COSPAR Congress, China July 16-23, Visit to Seminar at Key laboratory of Particle Astrophysics of Institute of High Energy Physics Chinese Academy of Science,

Prof. Ashot Chilingarian is the official representative of Armenia in COSPAR. July 23-29 he participated in the congress organized by the Council of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) touching upon the most “hot” scientific highlights. On July 15-23 Prof. Chilingarian participated in COSPAR committee meetings. In the course of numerous discussions, director of Russian Space Research Institute Lev Zelenij offered Prof. Chilingarian to organize mutual grand of Russian federation and Armenia for joint research in Space Physics.

June 26-30, 2006, Armenian Physicists at the First International Symposium on Space Education, Moscow, Russia

On June 26 - 30, 2006, the delegation of Yerevan Physics Institute: A.Chilingarian, V.Ivanov, V.Babayan, K.Arakelyan, A.Raymers, represented Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Division at the  conference organized by the Physical Department and Institute of Nuclear Physics of Moscow State University named “Space Education and University Satellites” (UNIVERSAT- 2006).

In the course of the conference, CRD’s project on new type of particle detectors was declared to be one of the 11 project recommended by UN for implementation in the framework of the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY2007). A seminar was held at Lebedev Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences the aim of which was to give new live to multiyear cooperation of Armenian and Russian physicists on Mt. Aragats.   Dr. Lebedev suggested creating International Armenian-Russian center for the Cosmic Ray research (ARCR). The legal possibilities of such center would be investigated in 2006.

 

March 30-April 1, 2006, Prof.  Ashot Chilingarian Participated in the IHY Annual Meeting of the Balkans, Black Sea and Caspian Sea Regional Network on Space Weather. The meeting was hosted by Bogazichi University and TUBITAK National Observatory, Antalya, Turkey.

The topic of the report presented by Prof. Chlingarian at the meeting “A Middle-to-Low Latitude Particle Detector Network for Space Weather Research” was directly connected with ISTC A1058 project and was recommended by the UN Outer Space Committee for realization in the framework of its small instrument deployment program of IHY-2007.

At a special session organized for the regional group aimed at preparing a joint project according to the INTAS recent collaborative call for South-Caucasian republics. Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria and Romania agreed to prepare a project on the climate change related to the changing intensity of the incident cosmic ray flux. The main goal of the project would be precise measurements of all the components of secondary cosmic rays using ASEC detectors.

 

March 2006, Armenia to Become the Full Member of the European COST 724 Action

Prof. Ashot Chilingarian represented  CRD at the “Developing the scientific basis for monitoring and predicting Space Weather” meeting organized by the COST 724 managerial committee in Antalyа (Turkey) from March 27 to March 30. Armenia has been an associate member of the COST action since 2004. It was the first time that a country representative was invited to participate in the managerial committee meeting. 

At the meeting the chair of the managerial committee, Jean Lilensten, suggested that Armenia should become the full member of the action in order to actively participate in the creation of the European Space Weather site and to attend managerial committee meetings. It was settled that the financial obligations of Armenia would be clarified by Jean Lilensten in COST Brussels office in April.

December 2006, University of Utah Commercialization Office has announced the patent authored by Prof. Ashot Chilingarian of the Cosmic Ray Division
SELECTION OF DIFFERENTIALLY EXPRESSED GENES FROM MICROARRAY DATA UTILIZING THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN GENES is an advanced mathematical method of identifying genes carrying a particular disease signature in the presence of tens of thousands of other genes in the human body. This work was done in collaboration with the Huntsman Cancer Research Center (HCRC) of the University of Utah .  Prof. Chilingarian developed the mathematical methods while two doctors from the HCRC provided the arrays of simulated and real-patient genes to test his methods. U of Utah owns the licensing rights, while Prof. Chilingarian holds 75% of the authorship rights, and the two doctors share the remaining 25%.  The paper which was published in Mathematical Biosciences after the provisional patent application was filed was the 7-th most downloaded paper from the journals website in 2002 and has been reference more than 20 times by others all over the world.

September 2006, CRD's DVIN appeared as the model project for UN's World Summit on Information Society. The UN World Summit on Information Society website is displaying CRD’s Data Visualization Interactive Network (DVIN) project as its high standard for others to follow.  In the first WSIS competition in 2003, DVIN took first in the e-science category, our of 800 projects from 136 countries.  As a result, the president of Armenia was asked to make the presentation of the awards to Prof. Chilingarian for Armenia , and the other three finalists from Canada , China , and US.  The Award ceremony was in Geneva during the WSIS in the presence of 10,000 participants and many heads of state.

In January, 2006, CRD's Space Environment Viewing and Analysis Network (SEVAN), was endorsed by the UN/NASA/ESA (European Space Agency) consortium in preparation for the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY-07). SEVAN is a 9 nation network which will host detectors designed by by CRD. The network data acquisition and analysis methods will be managed by the CRD under the leadership of the Head of the CRD and Principal Investigator of SEVAN, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian. The importance of SEVAN was reinforced at the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) meeting in China in July 2006. Nat Gopalswamy of NASA and the international coordinator IHY-07 mentioned SEVAN in his own presentation as one of the most important projects of IHY-07. Meanwhile, the chairman of the IHY-07 steering committee, Joseph Davila stated, “Space Weather issues are becoming more and more important and the approach advocated by CRD to deploy new type of particle detectors in near-equator countries is very important”.

On September 26-30, 2005, CRD hosted the Solar Extreme Events - 2005 international symposium in Armenia. Over 75 scientists from 11 countries participated in the conference sponsored by the international Commission On Space Research (COSPAR) and the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC). The local organizing committee and the international advisory committee were chaired by Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, head of the CRD. The program included presentations by the participants, discussions about the sources of Space Weather and the detection and early warning of events with catastrophic consequences, and a tour of the extensive cosmic ray research facilities on Mt. Aragats. Several key international organizations list this conference on their calendar as an important conferece to attend, among them: NASA, the European Sapce Agency (ESA), the international Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), and others. Participants of the conference elected to make it a bi-annual event, recommending to meet next time again in Armenai because, in the words of one participant from Switzerland, "There is no better place than Armenia". For more details see http://crdlx5.yerphi.am

In June 2005, Prof. Chilingarian represented Armenia in two key regional forums, propelling Armenia’s visibility for its contribution to the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Space Weather Forecasting in the world. At the World Summit Contributory Conference on ICT & Creativity in Vienna, Prof. Chilingarian pressed the importance of the ICT on forecasting and alerting on natural disasters and the need for a focused effort in this direction, in particular sighting his efforts in the field of Space Weather forecasting and alerts. This question will be discussed in more detail at the Solar Extreme Events -05 workshop at CRD’s Nor Amberd research station in September. Participants from the US (Naval Research Laboratory, Stanford U., U. of Delaware), Europe, Japan, and Russia will discuss and draw a conclusion which could be presented to the World Summit on Information Society – 05 in Tunis as the Armenian Declaration. The Vienna Declaration focused on e-learning and multimedia.

In Bulgaria, At the Balkan and Black Sea regional planning meeting for the International Heliophysical Year in 2007, Prof. Chilingarian represented Armenia as a leading actor in the region for Space Weather forecasting. With its two high altitude research stations, Nor Amberd at 6,500 ft. and Aragats at 10,500 ft., CRD is a world Leader for ground based space weather research. Space weather is the effect of the Solar activity on terrestrial systems, and thus is a very hot topic of consideration for the year dedicated to Heliophysical research. The workshop in Bulgaria included representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and others countries of the region. Armenia is clearly the leader on ground based space weather monitoring in the region. Relying on the expertise of the CRD, setting up a regional network of solar monitoring stations in other countries for 24 hours of alert service, was highlighted in the workshop. The new monitors under development at the CRD can be installed in new locations in Croatia and Bulgaria, and initial discussion along these lines show great promise.

In May of 2005 The Cosmic Ray Division (CRD) of the Alikhanian Physics Institute won the All Armenia e-Content Contest in the e-science category. The competition, dedicated to the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian Alphabet, was appropriately named the Mashtots-1600 contest. Winners of this contest will represent Armenia at the World Summit on Information Society’s (WSIS) competition in Tunis in November, 2005. Because the CRD won the 2003 world competition held in Geneva, the second place winner of the All Armenia contest in the e-science category in 2005 will represent Armenia in Tunis this year. As the winner from the previous WSIS contest, CRD’s head, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian, will likely serve as a judge at the Tunis competition. We wish success to all the Armenian entries to the world contest in Tunis this year.

In May 2005, the Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) conference, organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States, was held at CRD’s Nor Amberd research station on Mt. Aragats. SENCER, a flagship program of the NSF, aims to advance important national educational goals by helping students understand the scientific process and the importance of civic responsibility. Prof. Chilingarian, one of four key speakers, spoke about “Space Weather and Solar Physics – Basic Science Influencing Everyday Life”. Prof. Karen Kashmanian Oates, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, was the conference chair. About 30 participants from the Georgian State University, Georgian Medical University, Alikhanyan Physics Institute, Yerevan State University, Yerevan Technical University, as well as the chairman of Armenia’s National Foundation for Science and Advanced Technologies (NFSAT), Dr. Harut Karapetyan, were attendees. The next meeting will be in San Jose, California, in August. Four Armenian scientists will join an international group of colleagues involved in science education reform in order to continue the work started at Nor Amberd. Armenia’s participation is funded through a SENCER-Armenia grant sponsored by the International Center for Science and Technology at the National Science Foundation.

In February of 2005 NASA Includes Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Stations on its Observatory List In preparation for the International Heliophysical Year (IHY – 2007), NASA has founded a collaboration of international spacecraft and observatories that conduct solar research. The first step of this collaboration is to display the participating observatories and their internet links on the NASA internet site. The Aragats Space Environmental Center of the Cosmic Ray Division of the Alikhanian Physics Institute in Armenia is number two on the NASA site. To see it please visit http://orpheus.nascom.nasa.gov/~zarro/ihy/ , click on “VIEW Participating Observatories List” and scroll down to the second entry on the “ Spacecraft and Observatory” list.

CRD scientists close the summer of 2004 with an impressive presence at international conferences

CRD's head, Prof. Ashot Chilingarian and scientists Valeri Babayan, Hamlet Martirosyan, Vitali Ivanov, and Garegin Hosepian attended one or more of the following international conferences to present their state of the art research on galactic cosmic rays and space weather: International Symposium on Solar Extreme Events of Oct. - Nov. 2003, in Moscow, Commission On SPAce Research (COSPAR), in Paris, European Cosmic

Ray Symposium (ECRS), in Florence.


Here is an excerpt from a letter to Prof. Chilingarian from the executive director of COSPAR, "I would also like to take the opportunity of this letter to thank you, as Armenia's National Representative, for participating so actively in the Committee's activities. It is rare for new members to participate to the degree that you have, attending council meetings, ..., seeking COSPAR's assistance in obtaining European Union funding etc. Armenia's participation has added to the value of our Committee's work and has been remarked by our officers and certainly other national and international scientific union members.


We look forward to future close relations, to widening participation by Armenian scientists in the international space research community, and trust you will not hesitate to contact us concerning capacity building activities or other matters in which our collaboration may be of assistance" Dr. I. Revah, September 15, 2004

 

CRD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European

Sapce Agency (ESA), in March 2004

CRD and ESA have signed a memorandum of understanding for scientific cooperation in space weather forcasting research. CRD's strong participation in European scientific collaborations will be an important feather in Armenia's hat, when Armenia is considered for joining the EU.

CRD is accepted into the European COST Action 724 in January, 2004, to establish a world-Wide Space Weather Alert Network (SWAN)
CRD's Aragats Space Environmental Center (ASEC) is a vital part of the Space Weather Alert Network because it fills a vital gap by virtue of its Geographic location, Ground based detectors that complement sattelite based detectors, its Scientific Expertise, and its Award winning Data Visualization Interactive Network (DVIN)

CRD's DVIN wins World Summit on Information Society 2003 award
CRD was among the top four finalists in the e-science category of the WSIS 2003 award competition for best content. Projectes from the U.S., Canada, and China were the other 3. The winners were selected from a pool of over 800 projects from 136 countries. Armenia's president, H.E. Robert Kocharian, did the honor of presenting the awards to all the e-science finalists during the World Summit in Geneva on December 10. Armenia's DVIN for ASEC (Data Vidualization Interactive Network for the Aragats Space Environmental Center) was prepared by a team of young scientists at the Cosmic Ray Division under the leadership of Prof. Ashot Chilingarian.

More than 20 CRD Scientific Articles Accepted for Publication in
Refereed International Journals in the year 2002-2003

One of these, is the 7-th most downloaded from the journal's web site.

One very valuable electronic engineer returned to Armenia in 2003, with rich experience from German and Swiss physics laboratories to work at the Cosmic Ray Division, thanks to the Diaspora Support. He is implementing a state-of-the-art microprocessor chip data acquisition system for new CRD detectors. He is also training 4 young scientists in this important skill.

In 2003, CRD has designed 2 new, innovative types of sub-atomic particle detectors which can measure key details of cosmic ray particle composition and direction of arrival. The CRD has submitted a proposal to the International Science and Technology Center (an office of the US Department of State) for funding to build the detector prototypes.

The U. S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency's Space Operations Division partners with the CRD on the propoposal to build the protype detecotors - April, 2003

In 2003, CRD has developed new analysis methods which improve Cosmic Ray data interpretation. These methods, developed by a young CRD physicist, Ararat Vartanian, are an extension of the methods first developed by Prof. Chilingarian in the 1980’s and used world wide up to now. The application of the new methods by the CRD to the cosmic ray particles gathered at Mt. Aragats reveal discoveries that are a prelude to the discoveries expected from a large, multibillion-dollar physics machine being constructed at CERN in Europe, expected to produce data in 6 years.

Prof. Chilingarian was invited to a NATO sponsored Space Weather Workshop in Greece - March 2003, At the NATO-sponsored Space Weather Workshop in Greece, Prof. Chilingarian presented the research conducted by the CRD. The interest sparked by CRD’s research resulted in a suggestion that the next workshop be held in Armenia in October 2004.

Prof. Chilingarian taught at the prestigious CERN School On High Energy Physics - September 2003, This annual two-week schoolis geared for young graduate and post graduate level scientists. It includes students from around the world including two from the CRD, was held in Armenia this year.

Membership in International Scientific Collaborations, COSPAR – October, 2002

CRD is part of several world wide collaborations, such as MAGIC and KASCADE, and several institutions in Russia and Europe. As Armenia’s representative to the international COmmission for SPAce Research (COSPAR) International organization, Prof. Chilingarian, will participate in the COSPAR congress in Huston, Texas in October 2002 to plan future international space science research.

German Embassy First Secretary, Speyer and Dr. Knaul of the European Commission toured CRD’s research stations. After a briefing by Prof. Chilingarian on the need for more consistent funding for CRD’s projects and the importance of CRD’s research, the visitors promised to assist in the funding process. As a result, at the end of 2002, the first International Technology and Science grant, for essential repairs to the CRD Aragats Research Stations, was approved.

U.S. Ambassador Ordway visits the CRD Research Stations – September 4, 2002

Ambassador Ordway and four his aides visited the CRD Aragats station near at 3200 m. Prof. Chilingarian demonstrated the CRD capabilities and introduced the CRD projects to the delegation. Ambassador Ordway expressed interest in revisiting the stations before the October snow-fall in order to discuss further how the United States might benefit from the research conducted at the CRD.

CRD Invited to Make the Opening Invited Presentations at ECSR – July 8-12, 2002

Eight CRD scientists represented Armenia's Cosmic Ray Division at the 18-th European Cosmic Ray Symposium in Moscow on July 8-12, 2002. In addition to the regular presentations by the Armenian delegation, Prof. Chilingarian delivered the opening invited presentation on the break-through research in Armenia regarding Space Weather Forecasting.

 

CRD Receives Grant of Equipment – June 2002

The European particle Accelerator center, CERN, contributed data acquisition equipment to the CRD. This equipment is already installed and operating at the high altitude stations.

 

CRD Director to Publish a Textbook – June 28, 2002

The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) has awarded Prof. Chilingarian a contract to publish a textbook titled "Multivariate Methods of Data Analysis for High Energy Astrophysics".

Young CRD Scientist Receives Hewlett-Packard Grant – June 24-28, 2002
Dr. Ararat Vardanyan, one of the bright young scientist at the CRD, received a grant from Hewlett Packard to attend the 8th international workshop on Advanced Computing and Analysis Techniques in physics research in Moscow. He presented a paper on new methods of artificial neural networks training.

American Armenians Visit CRD Facilities on Mt. Aragats – June 22, 2002
A group of scientists and engineers and community leaders from the United States representing the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Armenian Technology Group (ATG) and the Greater Boston Area Armenian community visited the CRD's Nor Ambert and Aragats high altitude research stations on Mt. Aragats. They were extremely impressed by the installations and the research conducted by the CRD.

ISTC Project Directors Visit CRD Facilities – June 12-14, 2002
The ISTC Deputy Executive Director Mr. M. Okubo, Administrative Assistant Mrs. L. Kormilkina and CRD’s ISTC-funded A216 solar research project collaborator Professor Y. Muraki visited the CRD stations for on-site monitoring of the project. Discussions included approaches for a new Solar Neutron Monitor (SNT2) design and new data analysis methods under development at the CRD. A positive and fruitful discussion ensued on continuing this project and installing new equipment to be fabricated in machine shops in Armenia.

CRD Director Invited to Make Special Presentation in Japan – June 3-4, 2002
Because the Cosmic Ray Division is one of the world’s leading research institutes in the field of space weather forecasting. Prof. Chilingarian was invited to make special presentation on “Principals of Forecasting Severe Space Weather Conditions” at the ISTC seminar in Nagoya, Japan.

CRD Survives Treacherous Winter Storm - December 2001
A severe winter blizzard on Mt. Aragats downed power lines to the Aragats research station. The crew manning this station was stranded with minimal emergency heat and electricity. The repair and rescue mission conducted during blizzard conditions was successful. The heavy duty caterpillar-tractor used for the mission was previously repaired with funds contributed by the Diaspora.

Armenia is one of the World’s Top 5 Countries in Cosmic Ray Research – August 2001

Thanks to the consistently high quality research conducted by the CRD, Armenia was considered to be one of the top 5 countries engaged in Cosmic Ray Research, along with the United States, Germany, Japan and Russia at the International Cosmic Ray Conference in Hamburg,

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