2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Scientific studies from a network of sustainable, robotic observatories across the Antarctic ice shelf: A new approach to polar research

no photo available
A-112-M/S Research Location(s): AGO sites / AGO5


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1443507

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
S. Ouda / E. Kauffman / J. Blum / T. Ager / N. Scheibe

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Andrew Gerrard
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Department of Physics
Newark, New Jersey


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: AGO sites / AGO5


The Automatic Geophysical Observatories (AGOs) are five unmanned stations deployed over the Antarctic Plateau that provide power and data transmission capabilities for various research instruments. Historically, the AGO program has collected magnetospheric data in the polar cap and auroral zone, with each AGO unit housing fluxgate and search-coil magnetometers, a riometer, a VHF antenna, and all-sky imagers. AGO platforms have attracted the attention of the broader scientific community, and now the AGO facilities also support seismometers, GPS receivers, and automatic weather stations.

Field Season Overview

Two teams, each accompanied by an ASC mountaineer, will visit AGO4 and AGO5 to make upgrades and repairs to equipment. The first mission will be to AGO4 in late December from South Pole. The second will be to AGO5 in mid-January from McMurdo Station.

Deploying Team Members

  • Nathaniel Frissell
  • Andrew Gerrard (PI)
  • Andrew Gerrard (PI)
  • Gilbert Jeffer
  • Gilbert Jeffer
  • Robert Melville
  • Robert Melville
  • Andrew Stillinger (Team Leader)
  • Andrew Stillinger (Team Leader)