Event A-111    2012 / 2013 Season

The decades since the advent of space flight have witnessed the increasing importance and relevance of the Earth's space environment: for understanding the functioning of planet Earth within the solar system; for understanding numerous aspects of laboratory physics and astrophysics; and for understanding the Sun's influence on technological systems deployed on Earth and in space. These challenges are highlighted in the Decadal Survey of Solar and Space Physics which emphasizes the need for coordinated, multipoint measurements in space and at many locations on Earth to probe the relevant physics which occurs on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales involves cross-coupling between regions or systems previously treated as distinct, and can be highly nonlinear. The Polar Regions, and especially Antarctica, play a crucial role in this research. The Antarctic is magnetically connected to vast regions of the magnetosphere and solar wind, and provides the only practical locations for Earth-based measurements at the highest magnetic latitudes. At lower magnetic latitudes, Antarctic observatories are essential for efforts to understand global processes occurring in conjugate ionospheres.

Siena College (Prof. A.T. Weatherwax), the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Prof. A. Gerrard), and the University of New Hampshire (Prof. M. Lessard) will continue studies of the polar ionosphere and magnetosphere from South Pole and McMurdo Stations in Antarctica. Magnetometer observations, high frequency (HF) cosmic noise absorption measurements (riometry) and auroral luminosity measurements will form the basis of our investigations. However, as with most of our past work, our research efforts will involve extensive collaboration with other investigators using complementary data sets. Ongoing and recent completed studies have provided insights into high latitude substorm dynamics, power consumption in the ionosphere, day and nightside absorption spike events, flickering auroral radio emissions, traveling convection vortices, pulsating auroral particle precipitation, magnetospheric turbulence, cusp latitude absorption events, magnetic pulsations, and other topics.

We will continue to maintain the magnetometers at South Pole and McMurdo stations, as well as imaging and broadbeam riometers and 2-wavelength zenith photometers at South Pole and McMurdo in Antarctica. In addition, we plan to operate a monochromatic all-sky imager (ASI) at South Pole together with our colleague Dr. Yusuke Ebihara at the National Institute of Polar Research in Japan. We further operate GPS scintillation receivers as part of an international collaboration with Dr. C. Mitchell at the University of Bath. Our team will continue to provide and operate the data acquisition systems at South Pole and McMurdo for the common recording of other geophysical data and the provision of these data to all investigators.