FPI Collaborations

Palmer Station FPI

In order to understand the upper atmosphere over the Antarctica Peninsular, a comprehensive coverage of the various parameters from multiple stations is needed. Here are some existing and potential collaborations.

International Collaborations

Ukraine - Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Center operates an ionosonde at the Ukrainian Vernasky station (65° 15'S, 64° 15' W) not far from Palmer. The instrument provides important ionosphere electron density profile data.

UK - University of Bath operates a meteor radar at the British Rothera station (67° 34' S, 68 ° 08' W), which measures mesospheric wind. By jointly observing the mesospheric wind from Palmer and Rothera, we have a better understanding of the role of waves originated from troposphere in the mesospheric dynamics.

Spain - Ebre Observatory and University Lull operates a ionosonde at Juan Carols Base on the Livingston Island (62° 39' S, 60° 23' W ) during the summer season offers an opportunity to study local variations in the ionosphere.

South Korea - The Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) in collaboration with Korean Astronomy and Space Institute (KASI) operates GPS receivers, which measures the ionosphere Total Electron Content (TEC) at the Korean King Sejong Station (62° 13' S, 58° 47' W) on the King George Island. TEC measurements can help track ionosphere changes in the region.

Japan - Because Palmer station is at similar latitude as the Japanese Syowa station (69° 0' 25" S, 39° 35' 1" E), observations from Syowa station are a good reference for comparison study of the unique features in the mesosphere above the Antarctica Peninsular. Mesospheric wind data from the medium frequency radar at Syowa station will be used.

Australia - Australian Antarctica Division operates a meteor radar at Davis station (68° 35' S 77° 58' E). This is another station at similar latitude of Palmer station. Observations from this station can help determination how global scale waves such tides propagate in the zonal direction.

US Collaborations

Millstone Hill - Millstone Hill (42.61950°N, 53.40967°W) is the site of NSF funded incoherent scatter radar (ISR), which measures ionosphere parameters including electron density, temperature, ion temperature, and drifting velocity. Millstone Hill is particularly important to Palmer observation, because the two stations are connected by the geomagnetic field lines. In other words, the two stations are conjugate to each other. Conjugacy brings the mirror imaging of aurora in the two hemispheres. How conjugacy affect the thermospheric dynamics is the issue needs to be addressed. Scientific Solution Incorporation operates an FPI at Millstone Hill, which also measures the thermospheric winds. A comparison study of the thermospheric winds can help reveal the interaction between the ionosphere and thermosphere in the two hemispheres.

University of Alaska - University of Alaska and University La Trobe jointly operates an FPI at Mawson Station (67° 36' S, 62° 52' E) at similar latitude of Palmer station. This station provides another thermospheric wind measurement for understanding the ionosphere and thermosphere interaction at the latitude. In addition, the Mawson FPI also measures mesospheric winds and will be used study tides at this latitude. The multi-station observations can determine the zonal wavenumber of the tides, which is an important parameter for understanding the source for the tides.

University of Massachusetts at Lowell - University of Massachusetts at Lowell operates a digisonde at Port Stanley (51° 40' S, 59° 51 W). This instrument has been continuously monitoring ionosphere variation. It is a key station for studying the Weddell Sea Anomaly. The data from this station will be used in conjunction with the thermospheric winds to examine the effect on thermospheric winds on the ionosphere.

Gats Inc. - Gats operates a new meteor radar on the King George Island at the Brazilian Ferraz station (62° 05' 12", S58° 23'31" W). This radar provides an additional mesosphere coverage northeast of the Palmer station. This is particularly useful for investigate changes in the mesosphere on a small spatial scale (100s km) due to mountain wave activity.


Qian Wu (HAO/NCAR) - The Palmer station Fabry-Perot interferometer project is support by National Science Foundation grant OPP 0839119. The Principal Investigator Qian Wu of National Center for Atmospheric Research deployed the instrument in 2010. The instrument is constructed by High Altitude Observatory Instrumentation Group. Qian Wu operates Fabry-Perot interferometers at several locations (Resolute, Canada, Boulder, Colorado, and is also the PI for the Millstone Hill Fabry-Perot interferometer.

Mark Conde (University of Alaska)
John Noto, (Scientific Solution Incorporate)
R. Kerr (Scientifid Solution Incorporate)
Phil Richard, (George Mason University)
Bodo Reinisch (University of Massachusetts at Lowell)
N. Mitchell (University of Bath)
D. Fritts (Gats Inc)
K. Iimura (Gats, Inc)
D. Murphy (Australian Antarctica Division)
G. Jee (Korean Polar Research Institute)
J. Chung (Korean Astronomy and Space Institute)
T. Nakamura (Japan National Institute of Polar Research)
M. Ejiri (Japan National Institute of Polar Research)
Vladimir Lisachenko (Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Center)
Yuri Yampolski (Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Center)


The project is supported by a National Science Foundation Grant OPP 0839119, which is an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project.

Logistical support is provided by the US Antarctic Program (USAP).

The instrument is constructed by National Center for Atmospheric Research, High Altitude Observatory Instrumentation Group. NCAR is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Palmer station supporting crew and then contactor Raytheon designed and built a separate room in the Terralab at Palmer station to house the Fabry-Perot interferometer.

The instrument is maintained by Palmer station research associates.