Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) / by Shaun O'Boyle

I spotted the SuperDARN antennas on my first hike around the Hut Point Ridge Trail. They would be pretty hard to miss, taking up several acres on the hill above McMurdo Station. I assumed they were some type of HF comm antennas, but later learned that they are part of a global network looking at auroral activity. Here is a blurb from about SuperDARN: "The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of radars for studying the Earth’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and connection into space. Earth is buffeted by the solar wind, which interacts in complicated ways with the geomagnetic field to produce large-scale plasma motions within the upper atmosphere. These motions are a key source of information on the coupling processes. SuperDARN is a system of high-frequency radars that image these motions, producing large scale maps of the plasma circulation that are widely used by the research community for both research and applications. The overall research goal is to increase our understanding of disturbance effects in Earth’s space environment from polar regions to mid-latitudes and to furnish critical measurements of conditions in the upper atmosphere to the U.S. research community."

McMurdo Station, and on the right, the SuperDARN antenna array

SuperDARN from my first hike on the Hut Point Ridge Trail. I hike this route about 6 times during my stay at McMurdo. Dress Warm!