Data Sensors in Antarctica

Above: the real-time status of the Automatic Geophysical Observatories (AGO) network in Antarctica. Each box shows the location of a sensor atop the ice sheet (P1-P6) and its status. Red indicates that none of that sensor’s radio channels are currently being received. Amber shows that some of the channels are being picked up, while green indicates that all of the data channels are coming through clearly. The status information shown above is updated via satellite every 3 minutes.

Augsburg Computer Science provides data for space weather

The National Science Foundation began a program in 1990 to deploy a set of six Automated Geophysical Observatories at selected remote sites on the Antarctic continent. Augsburg’s Physics department is active in this program, in working with data from search coil magnetometers from all six of AGOs. Augsburg’s Computer Science Department is involved in distributing AGO data to users worldwide, and in providing daily monitoring services via the world wide web.

The British Antarctic Survey also began deploying such AGOs, and since 1994 Augsburg, along with the University of New Hampshire, has provided search coil magnetometers for these observatories, again with support from the NSF.

The AGO data that Augsburg’s Computer Science department maintains is accessed daily by researchers across the globe (including our Physics department on campus), space meteorologists, and USAF Space Command.