2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Aeronomy & Astrophysics

Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 99-09212
Station: McMurdo and South Pole Stations
RPSC POC: Jesse Alcorta
Research Site(s): McMurdo Station, South Pole Station

Conjugate and high time resolution studies of ULF waves and magnetospheric dynamics using ground based induction magnetometers at four high latitude manned sites
Dr. Mark J. Engebretson
Augsburg College
Department of Physics
Dr. Roger Arnodly
University of New Hampshire

Deploying Team Members: No Deployment
Research Objectives: Micropulsations are fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field caused by solar wind. They can be measured on time scales between 0.1 second and 1,000 seconds. Such magnetic variations can significantly affect large scale technological systems such as power grids and pipelines.

Since 1973 this project has been measuring the interaction between the Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind with ground magnetic pulsation detectors. The project's magnetometers are located at Arrival Heights (McMurdo Station), in the Quiet Sector at South Pole Station and in the Arctic.

Researchers study the variations and patterns of micropulsations over periods of time up to a complete solar cycle. Since satellite systems are now continuously observing solar activity and monitoring the solar wind, it is becoming feasible to develop models to predict the disruptions caused by magnetic anomalies. While this work is geared specifically toward a better understanding of the world and the behavior of human-made systems, it will also involve space weather prediction.

Field Season Overview:
Science technicians at McMurdo and South Pole stations support this project on a year-round basis by performing daily equipment checks, troubleshooting, and repairing the equipment as necessary.