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

Project Title

Collaborative Research: The Simpson Neutron Monitor Network

CosRay platform between the station and ARO. Photo by Sheryl Seagraves
A-118-S Research Location(s): B2 Laboratory


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 2112437

Program Director:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

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

Principal Investigator(s)

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

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: B2 Laboratory


This project operates a neutron-monitor suite at South Pole Station. The science thrust of the project is an understanding of solar energetic particles using neutron monitor data, complemented with data from the nearby IceTop air shower detector. Another focus involves understanding the nature of multiple coincident particles observed in the neutron monitors, which extend the reach of the South Pole neutron monitor as a single station capable of doing cosmic ray spectral studies. Also 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 the South Pole over the last 50 years. Understanding this decline is important because cosmic rays produce radionuclides such as 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 two-person science team will include: 1) Troubleshooting and identifying the source of sporadic glitches observed in the neutron monitor data. 2) Updating data acquisition hardware and software; archiving of data. 3) Inspecting equipment and performing routine maintenance on heaters in the outdoor detectors. 4) Working on outdoor remotes to mitigate the effects of static build up on windy days, which corrupt the data and require equipment restart. 5) Taking special configuration calibration data as needed. The goal is to ensure another year of continuous, high-quality data from the equipment. Ongoing Research Associate support will be required for routine monitoring and maintenance of equipment as required for up to two hours per week.

Deploying Team Members

  • James Bowers
  • Surujhdeo Seunarine (PI)