2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Lower thermospheric science using new meteor radar at McMurdo Station

McMurdo Station. Photo by Peter Rejcek. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library.
A-284-M Research Location(s): McMurdo Station


Event Number:

Program Director:
Dr. Robert Moore

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Randolph Jones

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Scott Palo
University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Station


This project observes the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) between 80 and 120 kilometers above the earth. This is a highly dynamic region that couples the lower terrestrial atmosphere with the upper atmosphere near-earth space environment. Of particular importance in this region are the upward propagating thermally-forced atmospheric tides, global-scale planetary waves, and small-scale gravity waves. All these phenomena transport heat and momentum from the lower atmosphere into the upper atmosphere. The primary goal of this research is to observe, quantify, model, and further understand the spatial-temporal structure and variability of the MLT circulation above Antarctica.

Field Season Overview

The radar field site is located between McMurdo Station and Scott Base. Three participants will deploy to McMurdo Station in late January to retrograde the radar array and control/data systems.

Deploying Team Members

  • Ryan Kingsbury
  • John Marino (Co-PI)
  • Scott Palo (PI)