Contents shortcut Main menu shortcut
Life at CNU

CNU Joint Research Team of Professor Oh Su-yeon Installed Korea's First Neutron Monitor in Antarctica

작성자대외협력과 작성일2021.05.31 22:35 조회4

A CNU joint research team installed a neutron monitor in Antarctica a first of South Korea.

The Domestic Spacecraft Neutron Monitor Research Group, headed by Professor Oh Soo-yeon of the CNU Department of Earth Science Education, installed Korea's first neutron monitor at the Antarctic Jang Bogo Science Base operated by the Polar Research Institute in January of last year.

This news arrived more than a year late due to a localized situation in which researcher Jeong Jong-il (Chungnam National University), who performed the task, had to take the Research Vessel Araon instead of an airplane due to the uniqueness of Antarctica and COVID-19, which made it difficult to go in and out along with the fact that Antarctica can only be visited when the northern hemisphere is in summer. The news on the neutron monitor was passed on after Jeong returned to Korea in March this year.

This neutron monitor had been operated by McMurdo Base (77.9S, 166.6E) since 1960 and was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It was transported to the Antarctic Jang Bogo Science Base (74.6 S, 164.2 E). It is known that the two Antarctic bases are geographically close, so they can maintain continuity such as through the succession of observational data.

The transportation work was completed after 4 years of preparation after the University of Delaware and the Polar Research Institute and Research Group signed a business agreement on the transfer of a neutron monitor in 2013 and started the transportation of Unit 1 (6 tubes) in December 2015.

The observation of spacecraft neutrons not only enables cooperative interdisciplinary research from understanding the physical properties of particles coming from space but can also lead to participation in international joint research centering on polar space environment research.

A cosmic ray refers to high-energy particles and radiation pouring out from space to the Earth and is mainly composed of protons. When a spacecraft enters Earth's atmosphere, it interacts with atmospheric particles to produce neutrons, which are detected by a spacecraft neutron monitor on the ground. Spacecraft provides important information for understanding supernova explosions and solar activity.

Jang Bogo neutron monitor data can be downloaded from NMDB (

Professor Oh said, "In the space environment, high-energy spacecraft particles are main factors that hinder the long-term operation of satellites and spacecraft, and for the long-term development of the future space industry, it is necessary to monitor the space environment through analysis of spacecraft observation data. In addition, it can be applied to the use of observation data of satellite-mounted spacecraft detectors for the long-term development of the space industry."