Collaborative Research: Investigation of Deep Polar Cap Dynamics Using an Autonomous Instrument Network

Project: Research project

Project Details


This award is funded in whole or part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2).

The Geospace environment comprises a complex system of the incoming solar wind plasma flow interacting with the Earth's magnetic field and transferring its energy and momentum into the magnetosphere. This interaction takes place mainly on the Earth's dayside, where reconnecting geomagnetic field line might be 'open' and directly connected to the interplanetary magnetic field lines, thus providing direct pathways for the solar wind energy to be transferred down to the ionosphere and upper atmosphere. The spatial extent of the polar cap areas controlled by the ionospheric plasma convection demarcate the so-called 'Open-Closed Boundary' where solar wind particles reach down polar ionospheres. Observations of that boundary serve the important role in validating geomagnetic field modeling and help studying space weather.

Motivated by the compelling Geospace research in the polar regions, this award will allow scientists to investigate magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes and ionospheric irregularities inside the polar caps and their space weather impacts by establishing a new ground-based network that will be deployed in the Antarctic polar cap region. This will be achieved using three new instrumented platforms (next generation of Automatic Geophysical Observatories) along the snow traverse route from the Korean Antarctic Station Jang Bogo toward to the Concordia Station at Dome C by the Korea Polar Research Institute's (KOPRI) team. Geospace data collected by these three platforms will be shared by the U.S. and Korean researchers, as well as will be made available to other scientists. The research involves early-career researchers, as well as train students who will build and operate remote Antarctic platforms, as well as analyze collected data to investigate space weather events and validate models. This project expands the U.S. institutions partnership with the KOPRI scientists and logistical support personnel.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/26


  • National Science Foundation: $799,137.00


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