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

Low Power Magnetometer (LPM) network - British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF/BAS Agreement

Program Manager:
Ms. Jessie Crain

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator

Mr. Michael Dinn

British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge, Undefined

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: Polar Plateau


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has deployed a dozen low power magnetometers (LPM) in Antarctica, most of which are in the deep field. The BAS instruments are part of an international array that forms a network across Antarctica. The instruments operate unmanned all year around, powered only by a solar panel. The LPM network measures magnetic fluctuations caused by currents flowing in the ionosphere. These data can be used to produce maps of space weather in the region around the Earth where satellites orbit. The ability to predict space weather is a significant advantage to the telecommunications and aerospace industries, helping them to better protect spacecraft.

Field Season Overview

Two to three BAS personnel from Rothera Station will use South Pole Station as a support base from which to access and maintain the magnetometers that are within approximately 200 nm of the station. The BAS personnel require a period of five to six consecutive days on station, inclusive of acclimatization time, to complete the work. BAS will use its own aircraft for travel between South Pole and Rothera Stations, as well as to undertake the deep-field work. USAP support includes South Pole on-station housing, aviation fuel, and minimal meteorological support for the BAS aircraft movements. All deployment and cargo support is provided by the BAS program.