UASD, Why study Geospace from Antarctica ?
Why study Geospace from Antarctica ?

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 Earth's surface.

  • 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 hemispheres.

  • 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.

BAS Homepage UASD Homepage Navigator