2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
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Cosmic ray observations at McMurdo Station

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili


ASC POC/Implementer:
Leslie Blank / Cara Sucher

Dr. John Bieber (Principal Investigator)
http://neutronm.bartol.udel.eduExternal Non U.S. Government Site

University of Delaware
Bartol Research Institute
Newark, Delaware

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  CosRay Building

Project Description:
Installed during the 1959-60 field season, the Cosray lab is the longest continuous-running experiment in the US Antarctic Program. This 52-year data set plays a crucial role in understanding the nature and cause of cosmic ray and solar terrestrial variations occurring over the 11-year sunspot cycle, 22-year Hale cycle, and longer time scales. Neutron-monitoring provides a three-dimensional perspective of the anisotropic flux of cosmic rays that continuously bombard Earth. The data acquired by this research project will advance the understanding of fundamental plasma processes that occur on the Sun and in interplanetary space. Researchers will analyze data acquired on station in concert with data from the "Spaceship Earth" neutron monitor network to understand variations associated with solar energetic particles that occur on time scales of minutes to hours. In a new application made possible by real-time data availability, the observations will also assist space weather forecasting and specification.

Field Season Overview:
This year is a milestone for the project, as team members begin a move to the South Korean Station Jang Bogo. Two sections (12 detectors) will be disassembled and packed in shipping containers for transport to New Zealand. The remaining section will continue to operate at McMurdo for two more years while the first sections are installed at Jang Bogo and a normalization run is conducted. The final section will be packed for shipment in 2014-15, at which time the CosRay building is scheduled for decommission. The McMurdo Research Associate (RA) will continue to support the remaining section until it is moved.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Paul Evenson (Team Leader)

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2012-2013 Field Season other information: Station Schedules Air Operations Staffed Field Camps Event Numbering System