2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Aeronomy & Astrophysics

Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 00-87541
Station: S
RPSC POC: Paul Sullivan
Research Site(s): Pomerantzland

Mapping the sound speed structure of the sun's atmosphere
Dr. Stuart M. Jefferies
University of New Mexico
Maui Scientific Research Center

Deploying Team Members: Vincenzo Di Martino . Wolfgang Finsterle . Cindy Giebink . Stuart M Jeffries . Allister Knox . Paolo Rapex
Research Objectives: This group studies the velocity and intensity of signals from the solar surface using magneto-optical filters tuned to the solar absorption lines at 589nm and 770nm, a small telescope, and digital cameras. These observations require uninterrupted viewing of the sun for many days through a "stable" atmosphere. These conditions are obtained by viewing the sun from a remote site well away from any heat sources or other disturbances of the atmosphere (e.g. airplane contrails, station activities). Depending on activity level at the station, the experiment will be located between 2 and 8 kilometers away from the station. To reduce local heat sources and to minimize the amount of heat escaping into the atmosphere from the instrument building at the remote site, the instrument building is buried under the ice 400 meters away from the generators.

Field Season Overview:
A remote observing site will be constructed between two- and eight kilometers from South Pole Station. The exact distance will depend on the level of activity at the station, and the final decision will be made within a couple of days of arriving. This project includes close collaboration with the University of Rome for the building of the instrument, which provided more than 60% of the instrument components and construction. One of the team members is from the University of Rome and funded by the Italian Antarctic agency.