2017-2018 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 32 installations observing high-frequency (HF) bands between eight and 22 MHz. These systems 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 can observe global-scale convection with excellent temporal and spatial resolution, which makes it a powerful tool for ground-based research, enabling scientists to address fundamental and important questions of space physics. The data it acquires are also relevant to space-weather studies and enhances 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. In addition, the team will install an ionosonde at a yet-to-be-determined location on the station. The installation will require the erection of the antennas and installation of the electronic components.
Deploying Team Members