Center for Space Science and Engineering Research

South Pole Low-Powered Magnetometers


A digital, low-powered magnetometer system was tested at South Pole in 2006-2007 and moved onto the Antarctic Plateau (station code PG1, lat=-85.50 lon=77.20) in Jan 2008. Two additional systems with more advanced designed were installed at South Pole Station in December, 2010. (Station codes SY3, lat= -89.984777 lon= -154.726070, and SY4, lat= -89.997773 lon= 124.074887). After a year of testing, they will be moved to the Antarctic Plateau.
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 graph below shows the most recent data that was obtained.


SY3 data

SY3 Magnetometer Data


SY4 data

SY4 Magnetometer Data


PG1 data

PG1 Magnetometer Data

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.

This effort is supported by the National Science Foundation throught the following awards: OPP-0341470 (PENGUIn consortium), OPP-0341158 (Michigan PENGUIn component), and CEDAR/AMISR ATM-0728538 to Virginia Tech.

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