EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Measurements of cosmic rays by a mini neutron monitor aboard the German research vessel Polarstern.

Bernd Heber1, Sasa Banjac1, Sönke Burmeister1, Martin Zoska1, Hanna Giese1, Konstantin Herbst1, Lisa Romaneehsen1, Carolin Schwerdt2, Dutoit Stauss3, Carsten Wallmann1, Adrian Vogt1, and Michael Walter2
Bernd Heber et al.
  • 1Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
  • 2Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY in Zeuthen, Germany
  • 3Center for Space Research, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa

Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) consist of energetic electrons and nuclei which are a direct sample of material from far beyond the solar system. Measurements by various particle detectors have shown that the intensity varies on different timescales, caused by the Sun’s activity and geomagnetic variation. Interplanetary disturbances cause space weather effects which warrant a more detailed study. Many studies on GCR intensity decreases is based on the analysis of ground-based neutron monitors and muon telescopes. Their measurements depend on the geomagnetic position, and the processes in the Earth's atmosphere. In order to get a better understanding of the geomagnetic filter over the solar cycle, the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, DESY Zeuthen, and the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa agreed on a regular monitoring of the GCR intensity as a function of latitude, by installing a portable device aboard the German research vessel Polarstern in 2012. The vessel is ideally suited for this research campaign because it covers extensive geomagnetic latitudes (i.e. goes from the Arctic to the Antarctic) at least once per year. Here we present the measurements for different latitude surveys including the periods of solar maximum in 2014 and solar minimum in 2019. 

The Kiel team received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870405. The team would like to thank the crew of the Polarstern and the AWI for supporting our research campaign.

How to cite: Heber, B., Banjac, S., Burmeister, S., Zoska, M., Giese, H., Herbst, K., Romaneehsen, L., Schwerdt, C., Stauss, D., Wallmann, C., Vogt, A., and Walter, M.: Measurements of cosmic rays by a mini neutron monitor aboard the German research vessel Polarstern., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5539,, 2022.