A magnetometer and data recording system was installed and began recording hydromagnetic and ion cyclotron waves (geomagnetic pulsations) propagating into the high latitude cusp and polar cap regions of the earth's magnetic field in January 1989 at Arrival Heights, Ross Island, Antarctica. The data represent two horizontal components of the Earth magnetic field variations dB/dt. The magnetometer ... continuously records data throughout the year and operates in conjunction with the Australian network of similar magnetometers at Casey, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island stations. The magnetometer consists of two induction coil sensors aligned along magnetic North-South and East-West and buried some distance from the Arrival Heights Laboratory of Scott Base. The magnetometer was calibrated and maintained annually with necessary upgrades and modification. In January 2007, the magnetometer sensors and recording equipment was relocated to a new hut. Besides visible light, the sun radiates a super-sonic stream of charged particles (solar wind made up of protons and electrons). The solar winds, embedded in an interplanetary magnetic field, interact with the earth’s magnetic field, shaping it into a cavity called the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere is shaped in such a way that the large interface area between the solar wind and the earth’s environment is focussed along the field lines onto a relatively small region of the high latitude atmosphere, over the polar zones. Waves (energetic particles and magnetic field disturbances) are generated through these interactions and are propagated through the ionosphere to the ground along magnetic field lines where they are recorded as pulsations of the geomagnetic field measured on the ground by magnetometers. Analysis of the frequency and nature of these measured ultra low frequency space plasma waves can indicated the source region. Besides being a fundamental study of plasma physics research, these effects also are frequently referred to as Space Weather events and may adversely affect operation of both satellite-based and ground communication, surveillance and navigation systems.
The magnetometer sensor coils are buried into the ground at the magnetically quiet area at Arrival Heights, while the all-sky camera is installed under the dome on the AH hut roof. Both instruments are automatic and do not require human control, but for normal operation they must be tested and calibrated annually by the qualified personnel from the University of Newcastle.
In future we plan to:
1. Continue data collection from both instruments.
2. Investigate several types of magnetospheric wave-like processes, which correspond to a variety of energetic processes at SW/magnetosphere boundary.
3. Study in detail effects of particle precipitation on the optical emissions in the lower atmosphere using all-sky camera.
4. Study the correlation between the morphology and dynamics of the observed aurora and SW/IMF conditions.
5. Improve modelling of the observed processes in the SW, magnetosphere and lower atmosphere.