2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Collaborative Research: Antarctic ELF/VLF observations of lightning and lightning-induced electron precipitation

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili


ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Cara Sucher

Dr. Robert C. Moore (Principal Investigator)
http://www.vlf.ece.ufl.edu/Antarctica/External Non U.S. Government Site

University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations:  Arrival Heights / CUSP Lab / Terra Lab

Project Description:
ELF/VLF observations at McMurdo, South Pole, and Palmer Stations provide a deeper understanding of lightning and its effects on the Earth’s inner radiation belt. Lightning source currents are estimated or directly measured by experimental observations of individual natural and rocket-triggered lightning flashes in North America. Together, the North American and Antarctic datasets are used to experimentally identify and analyze the components of lightning and the effects of lightning that are observed in the Antarctic, more than 10,000 kilometers distant. This project directly supports the continued operation of the ELF/VLF radiometers at all three US Antarctic research stations. At Arrival Heights, the radiometer has operated continuously for nearly 25 years, providing a unique resource for long-baseline ELF/VLF noise measurements, Schumann resonance observations, and global climate change parameterization via global lightning detection. The recently-upgraded data acquisition system continuously records ELF and the VLF data streams and provides real-time data processing and access via the Internet. Researchers in north-central Florida use the data for coordinated lightning-related experiments.

Field Season Overview:
This year, two participants will deploy to McMurdo and South Pole Stations and spend about a week at each. One participant will deploy to Palmer Station. Team members perform annual maintenance and calibration prepare the systems for winter operation. The instruments record data all year and support is provided by contract research associates (RAs).

Deploying Team Members:

  • Michael Mitchell
  • Robert Moore (PI)

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