2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Element composition of high-energy solar particles

Element composition of high-energy solar particles
A-118-S Research Location(s): B2 Science Building


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Timothy Ager / Neal Scheibe

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Paul Evenson
University of Delaware
Physics and Astronomy
Newark, Delaware

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: B2 Science Building


This project operates a neutron-monitor suite, which serves as the linchpin of the worldwide neutron monitor network at low energies. Opening the IceCube Neutrino Observatory has added a new dimension to this capability: the IceTop array of ice Cherenkov detectors. Central to the research is understanding the response of these detectors to the radiation environment of the South Pole, particularly to determine the cause of the peculiar secular decline in cosmic ray intensity at South Pole throughout the 50-year operating period of the neutron monitor. Understanding this decline is important because cosmic rays produce radionuclides like Beryllium-10 that become trapped in the ice and are used to determine ice-core ages and precipitation levels over Earth's polar regions. An understanding of the production rate is vital to interpreting these data.

Field Season Overview

This austral summer, a two-person science team will inspect the equipment and perform routine maintenance and upgrades. They will work in the B2 Science Building and on the outdoor remotes to mitigate the effects of static build up on windy days, which corrupts the data and requires equipment restarts. Up to two hours per week of research associate support will be provided throughout the year for routine monitoring and maintenance of equipment if required.

Deploying Team Members

  • Surujhdeo Seunarine (Co-PI)
  • Grace Zeit