2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
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2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

The next generation of geospace research facilities at South Pole and McMurdo Stations

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1643700

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Neal Scheibe / Jamee Johnson / Elizabeth Kauffman / Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator

Dr. Andrew Gerrard

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Department of Physics
Newark, New Jersey


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: Arrival Heights (ASPA 122) / B2 Science Building / Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO)


The geomagnetic field protects life on Earth from geomagnetic storms and coronal mass ejections that could affect satellites and disrupt communication with ground stations. The polar caps are specific areas around the geomagnetic poles where geomagnetic field lines are open and directly interact with the interplanetary magnetic field. There are many geospace-monitoring stations over the northern polar cap but far fewer on the southern polar cap. This project integrates clustered instrumentation at all three USAP stations to examine solar- wind interactions within the entire geospace system. Instruments include ground-based fluxgate and search-coil magnetometers, extremely low frequency (ELF) and very-low-frequency (VLF) receivers, imaging and broadband riometers, sky-looking optical systems, and GPS scintillation-rated receivers.

Field Season Overview

Field team members on this project will: (1) Check on all instrumentation and update firmware and data acquisition (DAQ) as needed; (2) Install new photometers at Arrival Heights and in B2, and package the old photometers for retrograde to the home institution; (3) Check the riometer system and repair as needed. (4) Train ASC science technicians to perform routine maintenance on the equipment; (5) Check the installation/operation of the all-sky imagers; (5) Transfer GPS data; and, (6) Install an Absolute Field Magnetometer.

Deploying Team Members

  • Yusuke Ebihara
  • Gilbert Jeffer
  • Joseph Kujawski
  • Robert Melville
  • Andrew Stillinger