Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences


Antarctic Geospace Data Portal

The projects that our group is involved with examine natural phenomena occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere. The broad focus of this research is directed toward improved understanding of the mechanisms which couple solar processes into the terrestrial environment. These include investigations of phenomena associated with short term environmental effects (auroras, induced electrical currents, radiowave communications interference, space weather), as well as those associated with longer term effects (changes in atmospheric composition studies, stratospheric winds).

Antarctic Magnetometer Interactive Portal

This site is the primary data repository for the fluxgate magnetometers from the Polar Experiment Network for Geospace Upper atmosphere Investigations (PENGUIn) project, which includes data from South Pole Station, McMurdo Station, and from a distributed array of Automatic Geophysical Observatories (AGOs) located across Antarctica.

South Pole Station Geospace Data Summary Plots (1982-2013)



South Pole Station

Three-Axis Fluxgate Magnetometer
Searchcoil Magnetometer
38.2 MHz 49-Beam Imaging Riometer
20.5, 30.0, 38.2, and 51.4 MHz Broadbeam Riometers
Multiple Wavelength Auroral Imager
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Receiver
630.0 and 427.8 nm Zenith Auroral Photometers
Very Low Frequency (VLF) Narrowband Receivers
LF/MF/HF Receivers
GPS Receiver
Proton Magnetometer (planned 2015)



Three-Axis Fluxgate Magnetometer
38.2 MHz 49-Beam Imaging Riometer
30.0 and 51.4 MHz Broadbeam Riometers
Multiple Wavelength Auroral Imager
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Receiver
630.0 and 427.8 nm Zenith Auroral Photometers
GPS Receiver

South Pole Station is  uniquely situated for investigations associated with ionospheric and magnetospheric phenomena. An important region of the earth’s magnetosphere separates processes associated with polar cap environments, from those normally related with auroral activity. Polar cap effects are associated with magnetic field lines that connect almost directly with the solar magnetic field on the dayside (cusp/cleft), and with the deep tail of the magnetosphere on the nightside. The boundary between the polar cap and those regions of the magnetosphere associated with closed magnetic field lines is coincident with the auroral oval, so-named because of the frequent occurrence of auroral arcs inside a narrow band around the magnetic pole. The ‘polar cap’ designation is normally applied to phenomena that occur poleward of the oval, so that the dayside cusp/cleft is regarded as a separate region with properties distinct from either the polar cap or auroral/sub-auroral regions.

McMurdo Station Geospace Data Summary Plots (1982-2013)

McMurdo Station, at invariant magnetic latitude of about 80 degrees, lies inside the polar cap at all local times. Since the magnetic pole is displaced from the geographic pole, South Pole Station is located at an invariant latitude (74.25 degrees) that places the station equatorward of the nominal undisturbed auroral oval on the dayside, and poleward of the oval (in the polar cap) on the nightside; consequently at dawn and dusk the station passes underneath the oval. Under disturbed magnetic conditions the characteristics of the oval, and indeed the entire magnetosphere, experience dramatic changes, so that this simplistic picture does not hold during the most interesting times for scientific investigation.

Kyoto-Siena-NJIT All Sky Imagers

The ASI was designed to observe the auroral and airglow emissions from the upper atmosphere with a high temporal and spatial resolution. The ASI is equipped with interference filters for auroral emissions of N2+ 427.8-nm, OI 557.7-nm (also an airglow emission), OI 630.0-nm (also an airglow emission), and Hβ 486.1-nm, as well as airglow emissions of NaD 589.0-nm and OH 730.0-nm. Together with a high sensitive cooled CCD camera, the ASI is capable of measuring a typical dayside aurora with an exposure time of 4-seconds with a resolution of 512×512 pixels at OI 557.7 nm and 630.0 nm, and 16-sec with a resolution of 256×256 pixels at H. This project is collaboration between Kyoto University, the National Institute of Polar Research (Japan), Siena College, and NJIT (USA) with support provided from the U.S. National Science Foundation under award ANT-0638587.

Antarctic GPS Measurements

GPS receivers from AJ Systems, Los Altos, CA, capable of scintillation monitoring are installed at SPA and MCM. These GPS receivers collect high-rate (50-Hz) phase and amplitude data on all visible satellites, along with low rate data which includes the standard deviation of phase (σϕ), amplitude variation (S4), and total electron content (TEC). These observations are stored locally on a hard drive and uploaded to our web site on a regular basis. This is a collaboration with Professor C. Mitchell (University of Bath, UK).

University of California-Berkeley All Sky Imager Database

The dayside magnetosphere plays a crucial role in controlling the mass and energy in-flow from the solar wind (ionized plasma blown from the Sun). NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft were launched into favorable orbits to study the interaction of solar wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere. These spacecraft are often positioned so that geomagnetic field lines connect them to the upper atmospheric regions in view of the ground-based observing stations. Relating the satellite data to their auroral footprints has revolutionized abilities to study dynamic processes in the solar wind and geospace. During winter times the high-latitude regions can be permanently in dark permitting optical observations of the aurora even at magnetic midday. These Antarctic optical observations provide a high-resolution dynamic view of the auroral context related to the in situ satellite measurements; such coordinated data exists from the austral winter of 2007 to today.

Dartmouth College LF/MF/HF Data Archive

Dartmouth College operates receivers at the South Pole and in four of the Automatic Geophysical Observatories. The most basic South Pole receiver, using a single magnetic loop antenna located more than a kilometer from the station, continuously collects 0.03-5.00 Mhz spectra with one second resolution. AGO receivers collect similar data with slightly lower time and frequency resolution. The data archive gives access to “summary” and “high resolution” spectrograms from these instruments. Dartmouth operates several other receivers at South Pole, using an array of antennas as well as crossed antennas, with bandwidths ranging from 300 kHz to 10 MHz, and with sensitivity to polarization and direction of arrival. These data are available on request from Dartmouth College.

Stanford Antarctic VLF Data Archive

The Stanford VLF Group collects data from ground stations located across the globe. There are two principle types of data collected, broadband and narrowband. Broadband data is full waveform data sampled at 100 kHz (frequency range of 300 Hz to 40 kHz). Narrowband data refers to the demodulated amplitude and phase of narrowband VLF transmitters. Both broadband and narrowband data is typically collected on two orthogonal antennas oriented in the North/South and East/West directions.

Augsburg Antarctic Search Coil Magnetometers

These web pages contain information and data from search coil magnetometers located in the Arctic and Antarctic used for geophysical research by the Augsburg College Physics Department in coordination with other universities. The research conducted at Augsburg College is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants ANT-0838917 and ANT-0840133.

 We gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation under award PLR-1248062 to Siena College.