Center for Space Science and Engineering Research

Antarctic Low-Powered Magnetometers

NEW: Project photos are here!

Recent Data Plots

New magnetometer station now operating at location PG0, 28 December, 2014!

System 2 data

PG0 Magnetometer Data, lat= -83.670 lon=88.681

PG1 data

PG1 Magnetometer Data, lat=-84.501 lon=77.198

PG2 data

PG2 Magnetometer Data, lat= -84.42 lon= 57.96

PG3 data

PG3 Magnetometer Data, lat= -84.81 lon= 37.63

PG4 data

PG4 Magnetometer Data, lat= -83.34 lon= 12.25

System 3 data

System 3 Magnetometer Data, At South Pole Station for testing, lat= -90

chain map

Antarctic 40 Degree Magnetic Meridian Chain

PDF version

Operational sites are shown in red. PG5 (blue) is planned to start in 2016.

Magnetic conjugate locations in Greenland are marked in green.

About These Magnetometer Instruments

A digital, low-powered magnetometer system was tested at South Pole in 2006-2007 and moved onto the Antarctic Plateau in January 2008 to location 'PG1', at lat=-85.50 lon=77.20. Another magnetometer was placed at 'PG2', lat= -84.42 lon= 57.96, in January 2009 and removed in December 2010 for repairs. Magnetometers having more advanced designs, including the addition of search coils, were installed at South Pole Station (lat =-89.98) in December, 2010 and 2011 for testing until final placement. 'System 3' was moved to location PG2 in January 2012, and replaced with 'System 4' in December 2012. 'System 5' was set up at location PG3 in January 2013. Three other magnetometers will be moved to the Antarctic Plateau in the next Antarctic Summer in December 2013 or later. These magnetometers will complete the PENGUIn (Polar Experimental Network for Geospace Upper atmosphere Investigations) 40 degree magnetic meridian chain, conjugate to a chain on the western Greenland coast.
The systems are designed for 5-year operation, unattended. 1-second vector geomagnetic variations are transmitted from the station via Iridium satellite communications links. To save power during the dark winter, the vector magnetic data are stored and only station housekeeping data are transmitted. The stored winter data are retrieved during the summer when power is available from the solar panels. The graphs above show the most recent data that have been obtained.
A chart showing the operational timeline of each site is in this PDF document.
Details about system locations and status are in this PDF document.
More details about this project and these instruments are in this PDF document.

The digital, low-powered magnetometers in Antarctica are operated by a collaboration between Space @ Virginia Tech , the Space Physics Research Laboratory  at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, VA. Professor C. Robert Clauer is the PI at Virginia Tech.

This effort is supported by the National Science Foundation through the following awards: ANT0839858, ATM922979 (Virginia Tech), and ANT0838861 (University of Michigan).

 Warning: The plots displayed on this page are provided only for non-commercial monitoring purposes.