2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
 
McMurdo and South Pole SuperDARN: Investigation of the ionospheric dynamics and magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling in Antarctica
 

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

Event Number: A-369-M/S
NSF/PLR Award 0944270

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Brian Johnson

Dr. William Bristow (Principal Investigator)
bill.bristow@gi.alaska.edu

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Geophysical Institute
Fairbanks, Alaska

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations:  Near stations

Project Description:
The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is a global international radar network of 22 installations observing high frequency (HF) bands between 8 and 22 MHz. Radar systems have been installed at McMurdo Station (2009-10) and South Pole Station (2011-12), extending the global-scale coverage in the southern hemisphere. These systems also help answer questions about geomagnetic conjugacy of global magnetic storms and substorms and differences in the ionospheric plasma convection caused by the asymmetry of solar illumination in both hemispheres. The SuperDARN network, with its ability to observe global-scale convection with excellent temporal and spatial resolution, has proven to be the most powerful tool available for the ground-based research, allowing scientists to address the most fundamental and important questions of space physics. The data are also relevant to important societal issues such as space-weather studies, and they enhance the usefulness of data from other instruments.

Field Season Overview:
Each austral summer researchers deploy to McMurdo and the South Pole to perform system maintenance such as inspecting the equipment, tightening guy wires and antennas, replacing shackles, re-leveling the radar poles, and updating/repairing the on-site computer system. Throughout the year contract staff maintain system components and vehicular access to the array.

Deploying Team Members:

  • William Bristow (PI)
  • Alexander Morris
  • Jeff Spaleta

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs