Space and Upper Atmospheric Sciences Group
The polar region provides a viewing window into the space, through which we can monitor the solar wind energy flowing into the geospace manifested as auroras. Space and Upper Atmospheric Sciences Group studies the above process from various aspects such as solar wind energy entry into the magnetosphere, auroral substorm, mognetosphere-ionosphere coupling, and coupling between ionized and neutral atmospheric regions. We also study vertical energy transfer in the middle atmosphere both from above (by auroral process) and below (upward propagation of atmospheric waves).
We have been planning and carrying out upper atmosphere physics observation at Syowa Station with the members of Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition, and at other antarctic stations such as Amundsen-Scott and Chinese Zhongshan Station under international collaborations. We also carry out observations in the arctic at Iceland, which is the geomagnetic conjugate area of Syowa Station, and at Svalbard, where we contribute to the operation of EISCAT Svalbard radar.
Observed data from these stations are analyzed and studied by our research group and collaborative researchers in Japan under two major research projects “Study of the aurora phenomenon as seen from the northern and southern polar regions” and “A study on the coupling and variability of the polar upper atmosphere”, together with other collaborative research program proposed by collaborative researchers of National Institute of Polar Research.
We are developing advanced optical instruments for the ground-based, satellite and balloon borne observations, as well as other radio wave instruments such as a large atmospheric radar and a radio wave absorption imager for auroras. We also contribute to the education of graduate students at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Sokendai).