National Institute of Polar Research

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Space and Upper Atmospheric Sciences Group

Links between space and the Earth elucidated with remote-sensing techniques

Leader  Masaki Tsutsumi

The resonance scattering lidar under tuning at Syowa Station.

The target of the Space and Upper Atmospheric Sciences Group ranges from the stratosphere (above 10 km) to the interplanetary space of the solar system.

Study of aurora and links between solar wind, magnetosphere, and ionosphere

Visual auroras are natural electrical phenomena of excited electrons and protons precipitating from space near the Earth (geospace) into the polar atmosphere along the geomagnetic field lines. Auroral phenomena reflect variations in the geospace environment, which changes dynamically due to the interaction between the solar wind, the magnetosphere and the ionosphere. We have been developing ground-based network observations in the Antarctic and Arctic regions with radars, magnetometers, and auroral imagers to study the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes and the mechanisms of various aurora-related phenomena.

Study on middle and upper atmosphere

The transient region between the middle (10-90 km) and the upper (90 km -) atmosphere is a boundary region between space and the Earth. The upper atmosphere is partially ionized and acts as plasma particles;whereas conditions in the middle atmosphere are more neutral and fluid-like. In contrast to auroras in the upper atmosphere, prominent phenomena in the polar middle atmosphere are the ozone hole, polar stratospheric clouds (PSC) and polar mesospheric clouds (PMC). In order to precisely observe the polar middle and upper atmosphere, we are carrying out various ground-based measurements in the Arctic and the Antarctic regions to capture the meteorological disturbance from below, electromagnetic impacts from above, and global meridional circulations and teleconnections of the atmosphere.

The PANSY radar in continuous operation at Syowa Station.

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