2019-2020 Science Planning Summaries
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2019-2020 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

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

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A-111-M/P/S Research Location(s): Arrival Heights / Antenna Field / Terra Lab


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1643700

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Elizabeth Kauffman / Jamee Johnson / Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator(s)

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

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: Arrival Heights / Antenna Field / Terra Lab


The geomagnetic field protects life on Earth from geomagnetic storms and coronal mass ejections. These events could also 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

This year, there will be no additional activities at Palmer Station. The team will run the fluxgate magnetometer and VLF remotely, as they have in past years. At South Pole and McMurdo stations, field team members will check instruments, change the data acquisition from OS to Windows 10, and inspect the VLF system.