2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
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2020-2021 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): Field Local, Arrival Heights, Terra Lab


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 1643700

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

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

Principal Investigator(s)

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


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: Field Local, Arrival Heights, 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

Due to COVID19, there will be no additional activities at McMurdo or South Pole Station and activities will proceed as usual. At Palmer Station there will be no additional activities. The team plans to run the fluxgate magnetometer and VLF as they have in past years.