2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Antarctic and Conjugate Research using SuperDARN
Dr. William Bristow
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is a global international radar network of 22 installations observing high-frequency (HF) bands between eight 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. These qualities allow 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 South Pole Stations 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, contractor staff maintain system components and vehicular access to the array.
Deploying Team Members