Halley (75.52 S, -26.63 E)

The Halley radar was the first SuperDARN-type radar constructed in the southern Hemisphere and saw first light in January, 1988. The field of view of the radar is largely conjugate to that of the Goose Bay radar in the north. The Halley radar was built as a joint project between the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and JHU/APL. The overall project was known as the Polar Anglo-American Experiment (PACE) and it was described in an EOS article (Baker et al., 1989). The construction phase featured participation by Kile Baker and the copious consumption of single malt scotch whisky. The original radar PI, John Dudeney (1987-199X) was succeeded by Michael Pinnock (199X-2005), then by Mervyn Freeman (2005-2016), and now Gareth Chisham.

The Halley radar is maintained by BAS personnel at Halley Research Station.

Historical notes (in reverse chronological order):
  • A note from Gareth dated May 18, 2020:

    There is presently no SuperDARN radar operating at Halley. Since the Brunt Ice Shelf started collapsing a few years back there have been no overwintering staff at Halley for the last few years for safety reasons. At the time that we went to summer-only operations there was no possibility of running the radar remotely over the winter because of the lack of power over winter. So we removed all the electronics to the Falkland Islands and restarted the radar there. Although we now have autonomous power through the winter at Halley now, due to a new microturbine system, the system is still not stable enough for us to consider sending the SuperDARN radar back there. There are lots of other space weather instruments at Halley that have restarted operation though. We are actually looking at alternative sites in the Antarctic to send the radar back to where there is less snow accumulation, and hence, less yearly maintenance needed. This is probably still a few years away though.

    The re-sited radar in the Falklands is going from strength to strength though, with a new operating system and STEREO operation. Hopefully this will put it in a good place for when it does actually head back to the antarctic mainland.

  • The radar was stopped for a site emergency between Aug. 6, 2014 and Dec. 10, 2014.

  • The radar was stopped for a site rebuild between Dec. 15, 2007 and Feb. 24, 2011.

  • The Halley radar was turned off December 15, 2007 and dismantled in order to be relocated with the rebuild of the Halley BAS station. (These moves are carried out periodically owing to the advancing ice sheet.) As the building was going to take several years to complete, it was decided to operate the radar from a site in the Falkland Islands, thereby providing mid-latitude measurements that are conjugate to measurements made by the northern mid-latitude radars (Wallops, Blackstone). A site was found in the Falkland Islands and an array of antennas built. The Halley electronics powered the system from a shed. The electronics were returned to Halley to be incorporated in the re-built radar, which resumed operation on February 24, 2011. The Falklands Islands SuperDARN radar operated from February 2010 until September 2011.

Halley Radar Field of View Map


Show Hardware Table

Show a detailed decription of the parameters in the hardware files

Download Halley Hardware File(external link)