2019-2020 USAP Field Season
Earth’s electromagnetic environment: Advancing recent discoveries in auroral plasma radio emission research
Dr. James LaBelle
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
This project uses existing instruments at South Pole Station to answer outstanding questions raised by the discovery of correlations between auroral kilometric radiation (AKR) observed 200,000 kilometers above Earth and AKR-like signals observed simultaneously at South Pole Station. The higher electron cyclotron harmonic radiation is polarized, which suggests a different and possibly nonlinear generation mechanism. These phenomena are best observed, and in most cases can only be observed, from Antarctica, making the South Pole a perfect location for the experiment.
Field Season Overview
This project runs continuously every day of the year, and the researchers access their previously installed equipment remotely via the internet. No personnel will deploy. An on-station research assistant will spend approximately one day during the austral summer recording antenna orientations using GPS, according to the PI’s instructions, to enable more accurate direction finding of radio signals. During winter months, on-station technicians will maintain computers in the science lab and in the V8 vault.