There are six compelling reasons for conducting frontier experimental research on
geospace physics in the British Antarctic Territory (BAT):
- The ionosphere above BAT provides a viewing window through which to remotely sense
nearly all regions of geospace. A small region of the high latitude polar ionosphere
senses large volumes of geospace via geomagnetic field lines that diverge from the
- The BAT is a preferred region for magnetospheric wave-particle interactions and
for energetic electron precipitation into the upper atmosphere. Most of the solar wind
energy transferred into the magnetosphere and ionosphere is deposited in the high latitude
regions, owing to the configuration of the Earth's magnetic field. One manifestation of
this is the aurora.
- The geospace environment deposits energy into both north and south polar regions,
but often in different amounts. Simultaneous observations in both polar regions provide
critical data to study this. Comprehensive instrumentation in BAT complements the
similarly extensive instrumentation in the geomagnetically conjugate region of Greenland,
eastern USA and Canada.
- There are also significant north-south differences between the energy input to the
upper atmosphere from below, due to the different topography and albedo of the two
- The separation of the geographic and geomagnetic poles are most different in the
BAT compared to anywhere else on Earth. For this reason, solar and geomagnetic
effects on the upper atmosphere can be distinguished more readily here.
- The BAT is relatively free from radio and optical pollution and is therefore ideal
for operating sensitive instruments.