Chonnam National University joint research team installs neutron observer in Antarctica

A joint research team led by Chonnam National University installed a neutron observer in Antarctica for the first time in Korea. According to Chonnam National University on the 18th, a domestic spacecraft neutron monitor research group headed by Professor Oh Soo-yeon of Chonnam National University (Department of Earth Science Education) installed a neutron observer at the Antarctic Jangbogo Science Base operated by the Polar Research Institute in January of last year.

The fact is that researcher Jeong Jong-il (Chungnam National University), who performed the task, had to use the Arion instead of an airplane due to the unique characteristics of Antarctica and the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19), which is not easy to come and go so that it can only be visited in summer. It was delivered only when returning to Korea this March due to local circumstances.

The neutron observer was operated at McMurdo Station in 1960 and moved to the Antarctic Jangbogo Science Base with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Therefore, it is the first Korean neutron observer to be installed in Antarctica. It is known that the two Antarctic bases are geographically close so that they can maintain continuity such as the succession of observational data.

The relocation work was completed four years after the University of Delaware-Polar Research Institute-Research Group signed a business agreement on the relocation of the neutron observer in December 2015.

Spacecraft neutron observations not only enable cooperative research based on understanding the physical properties of particles coming from space but also attract participation in international joint research centering on polar space environment research.

Cosmic rays collectively refer to high-energy particles and radiation that are poured from space into the Earth and are mainly composed of protons. When a spacecraft enters the Earth's atmosphere, it interacts with atmospheric particles to produce neutrons, which are detected by a spacecraft neutron observer on the ground. Spacecraft provide important information for understanding supernova explosions and solar activity.

Jangbogo neutron observer data can be downloaded from the related site ( ).

Professor Oh Soo-Yeon said, in the space environment, high-energy spacecraft particles are a factor that hinders the long-term operation of satellites and space ships, and for the long-term development of the future space industry, it is absolutely necessary to monitor the space environment through analysis of spacecraft observation data. It can be applied to the use of observation data of satellite-mounted spacecraft detectors for the long-term development of the space industry.

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