Department of Physics & Astronomy
Hanover, New Hampshire
Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: B2/V8 vault
Energetic plasma interacting with the geomagnetic field in the near-Earth space (geospace) environment emits electromagnetic waves across the radio spectrum. Ground-based measurements of these waves are used as diagnostic tools to investigate various processes in geospace. This investigation takes advantage of an existing network of radio receivers at AGO sites (Weatherwax A-112) located from -70 to -85 degrees of invariant geomagnetic latitude and operating in the frequency range from extra-low to high frequencies. The Antarctic continent is ideally suited for these types of natural radio-wave experiments since it is largely devoid of such anthropogenic electromagnetic interference as power-line harmonics and radio-frequency broadcast transmissions. Researchers will focus on studies of three geophysically important plasma waves. Chorus waves are believed to be a major driver of radiation belt electron acceleration and loss. The other two waves, auroral hiss and auroral kilometric radiation (AKR), are generated in the auroral acceleration region and have the potential to be used for remote sensing of this complex and poorly understood near-Earth region.
Field Season Overview:
For the direction-finding receiver, data collection occurs during the austral winter from March to September. Using the Internet, it is controlled remotely from Dartmouth. The swept frequency receiver collects data year-round. This instrument automatically transfers its data to the central server at South Pole for onward transfer to the US. The contract Research Associate (RA) monitors and maintains the equipment locally.