2021-2022 Science Planning Summaries
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2021-2022 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Local-scale drivers and responses of thermospheric weather above Antarctica

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A-343-M/S Research Location(s): Arrival Heights, B2 Laboratory


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 2029459

Program Manager:
Dr. Robert Moore

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Paul Sullivan / Sheryl Seagraves

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Mark Gerard Conde
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Physics Department
Fairbanks, Alaska

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: Arrival Heights, B2 Laboratory


This project operates and maintains ground-based Fabry-Perot spectrometers at McMurdo Station and South Pole Station. The instruments measure mesospheric and thermospheric neutral winds and temperatures at heights of around 87 km, 120 km, and 240 km. The study will address both large-scale changes in mean flow and small-scale local perturbations, and it will independently resolve impacts due to forcing from above and from below. Existing instruments will be upgraded by adding a capability to measure winds and temperatures at mesopause heights. The study will be supported by collaborative data from existing mesospheric temperature mapper and SuperDARN radar instruments in Antarctica and will, in turn, provide neutral wind and temperature data for use by our collaborators.

Field Season Overview

One participant will deploy to service the equipment this season. The objective will be to perform urgent maintenance plus minor upgrades. This will involve work on the instruments inside their respective labs at Arrival Heights near McMurdo Station and in the ARO building at South Pole Station. No off-station fieldwork is required. An onsite research associates will provide monitoring, troubleshooting, and the collection and forwarding of data as needed throughout the year.

Deploying Team Members

  • Kylee Branning