To extend Antarctic science support capacity, the Division of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation is developing Automatic Geophysical Observatories (AGOs). The AGO program was initiated at the urging of the upper atmospheric physics research community for ionospheric, magnetospheric, and thermospheric studies and aeronomy. However, it is expected that the AGOs will have other uses, such as tropospheric or stratospheric chemistry, seismology, or the collection of meteoric dust.
The AGOs will be transportable to almost any site in Antarctica. It is expected that the first two will be deployed in the field during the austral summer of 1990–1991, with two more being deployed each summer up to a total of six AGOs. It is probable that measurements made at AGOs could be complemented by similar measurements at manned stations, and it is encouraged that such possibilities be explored.