Dr. Mark Engebretson, Professor of Physics, was granted a three year, $185,940 award from NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences for his project, “Collaborative research: Continued study of ultra low frequency (ULF) waves at cusp latitudes on Svalbard to probe earth’s space environment.” This project builds on a longstanding partnership between Augsburg and the University of New Hampshire (Dr. Marc Lessard) in an effort to better understand the dynamics of Earth’s magnetosphere and its interaction with the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF).
Svalbard, Norway is the only place in the northern hemisphere where polar cusp field lines can be observed for extended periods in darkness at noon, making it an ideal location to carry out observations of ionospheric phenomena (including dayside aurora) on magnetic field lines that map to the outer boundary of the Earth’s magnetosphere. Funding will support the continued operation of an array of four search coil magnetometers (induction antennas) located in Svalbard and the analysis of magnetometer data for studies of ULF waves and associated phenomena in Earth’s space environment.
The data from the magnetometers are valuable for a number of space physics studies, and will be made available to the scientific community through the NASA Virtual Observatories. Additionally, this project will provide undergraduate student researchers with education and training opportunities in space physics and data analysis.
Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AGS-1202267. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.