2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Neutron monitor observations of cosmic rays from Jang Bogo and McMurdo Station

Neutron monitor observations of cosmic rays from Jang Bogo and McMurdo Station


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Dr. Paul Evenson

University of Delaware
Physics and Astronomy
Newark, Delaware

Project Web Site:
http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/ External Web Site


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Building 84


Installed during the 1959-60 field season, the Cosray Lab is the longest continually running experiment in the U.S. Antarctic Program. This 56-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. The observations will also assist space-weather forecasting and specification.

Field Season Overview

To ensure continuity of the McMurdo long-term dataset, this project is in the process of moving the neutron monitor to the new Korean station, Jang Bogo. The monitor section that was shipped from McMurdo to Christchurch, New Zealand in the 2014-15 season will be loaded on the Korean vessel R/V Araon, for transport to the Jang Bogo. USAP team members and their Korean colleagues will first install the building that will house the neutron monitor at Jang Bogo, then will assemble the monitor and verify its proper operation. At McMurdo Station, another team will perform routine maintenance and minor upgrades to the neutron monitor there. They will activate the IGY neutron monitor, will complete an inventory, and prepare a retrograde plan for next season (2016-17). This team will also travel to South Pole Station to service the neutron monitor currently installed there.

Deploying Team Members

  • Paul Evenson (PI)
  • James Madsen (Co-PI)
  • Laura Moon
  • Joseph Wagner