Fabry-Perot Interferometer at Palmer, Antarctica

The Palmer station Fabry-Perot interferometer project is funded by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs. The goal is to study the upper atmosphere and ionosphere over the Antarctica Peninsula. Palmer station is an year-around US Antarctica Research station located on the Anvers Island near the Antarctica Peninsula. It is ideally located for the upper atmosphere research in the region.

Terra lab at Palmer station image
Terra lab at Palmer station, Antartica.

Instrument development work began on the new Fabry-Perot Interferometer (FPI) that is scheduled to be installed at Palmer, Antarctica. This effort is being conducted in collaboration with Australian scientists who have FPI instruments at Mawson and Davis Antarctica to jointly analyze the neutral wind and temperature data to address the following issues: (1) thermospheric neutral wind effect on the Weddell Sea Anomaly, (2) lower thermosphere wind effect on shuttle plume drift, (3) nonmigrating tides in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere, and (4) geomagnetic effect on the thermospheric wind. The deployment of the FPI to Antarctica will provide some answers to a long-standing question regarding the Weddell Sea Anomaly in the Antarctica Peninsula region. Palmer FPI was installed in late 2010 and the proposal for its future operation is pending.