Jim Beatty in Antarctica recovering ANITA-IV payload

December 15, 2017
Dr. Jim Beatty in Antarctica

Professor Jim Beatty is in Antarctica at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station working to recover the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna IV (ANITA-IV) payload. ANITA searches for rain bursts emitted by neutrino interactions in the Antarctic ice sheet, and for cosmic ray showers in the atmosphere above the continent.  We flew ANITA-IV last December from McMurdo Station near the Antarctic Coast. During its nearly month-long flight, it circled the continent and spiraled toward the pole, and it landed about 170 nautical miles from South Pole Station.  I will be participating in flightsto the payload location using a ski-equipped Twin Otter aircraft.  At the payload site, we will dissassmble the instrument and ferry the parts back to South Pole for shipment to the US.  I am working here with senior scientist Christian Miki from the University of Hawaii and postdoc Alexander Novikov and graduate student Steven Prohira from the University of Kansas.

Pole is an interesting environment for science.  The main station accommodates 148 people, including many staff who keep the station running and safe.  The science done here is diverse, and includes Astrophysics, Cosmology, Aeronomy, Solar Physics, Space Physics, Geology, Glaciology, Geophysics, Meteorology, and Climatology.

ANITA-IV Payload

Other than our payload, nothing but flat white as far as you can see.  -20F or so, your breath condenses and forms icicles on any convenient location.  Very comfortable thanks to excellent extreme cold weather gear.

Ohio State at the South Pole