2019-2020 Science Planning Summaries
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2019-2020 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): On station


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Robert Moore

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Surujhdeo Seunarine
University of Wisconsin River Falls
Department of Physics
River Falls, Wisconsin


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: On station


This project operates a neutron-monitor suite, which serves as the linchpin of the worldwide neutron monitor network. 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 in determining the cause of the decline in cosmic ray intensity at South Pole over the last 50 years. 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

The main activities of the science team will be to update the data acquisition hardware and software to comply with the transition to Windows 10. They will also inspect the equipment and perform routine maintenance on heaters in the outdoor detectors. The goal is to ensure another year of continuous, high-quality data from the equipment. The research associate support will provide routine equipment monitoring and maintenance, if required, for up to two hours per week.

Deploying Team Members

  • Surujhdeo Seunarine (PI)