2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Precision operation of Hexagonal Radio Array (HRA)

Precision operation of Hexagonal Radio Array (HRA)


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1607719

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Jenny Cunningham / Jennifer Blum

Principal Investigator

Dr. Steven Barwick

University of California Irvine
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Irvine, California

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: ARIANNA site at Moore's Bay


The pilot project for the Antarctic Ross Ice-Shelf Antenna Neutrino Array (ARIANNA) consists of seven autonomous stations, called the Hexagonal Radio Array (HRA). Located on the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, the HRA is designed to detect short-duration radio pulses generated by neutrino interactions in the ice, which reflect from the ice-water surface at the bottom of the Ross Ice Shelf up to the stations on the surface. These measurements provide important insight on the locations of the most powerful particle accelerators in the universe and allow physicists to probe for novel physics beyond the standard model used in the field.

Field Season Overview

Team members will travel by helicopter to the ARIANNA camp site, located at Moore's Bay, about 70 miles south of McMurdo Station. They will receive ASC support for put-in and pull-out of a tent camp where they will reside for approximately three weeks. While there, they will install radio transmitters down two previously-drilled holes to collect measurements of attenuation and scattering properties of the firn snow at ARIANNA frequencies. The team will remover the transmitters from the holes prior to leaving the ARIANNA site. Ice evaluation remains a primary activity but the team will also continue to assess the surprising horizontal propagation of radio pulses that was discovered last season by the ARIANNA team. The team will also spend approximately 10 days at the South Pole in order to install new equipment.

Deploying Team Members

  • Steven Barwick (PI)
  • Hans Bernhoff
  • Geoffrey Gaswint
  • Christopher Persichilli (Team Leader)
  • Shih-hao Wang