Cape Schmidt Observatory (CPS)

After the legendary expedition of the ship "Chelyuskin" and its shipwreck in 1934 in 100 miles from Cape North, by the decree of O.Yu. Schmidt a weather station was founded in the Ryrkaypy settlement in Chukotka for the needs of Arctic navigation.

In the late 1940's the Cape Schmidt settlement was founded near the weather station. The first brick building of the observatory was installed, and the ASK-2 ionization chamber was set for the registration of the hard component of cosmic rays. These measurements had been carried out by the Shafer Institute of Space Physics Research and Aeronomy (IKFIA SB RAS) till 1967.

The most comprehensive development of geophysical observations carried out at the Cape Schmidt station took place in 1957—1958. in terms of the International Geophysical Year. Lebedinsky's set for continuous photographing of auroras was installed. This is a complex system of large mirrors, photographing the entire sky with a photo camera and registering sky spectres. Also a magnetic observation pavilion was built.

In 1964 the Cape Schmidt station was included into the North-East Interdisciplinary Scientific Research Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (NEISRI FEB RAS, an institution based in Magadan) and reorganized into the Department of Space Physics Research of the NEISRI. In the same period an ionospheric station was installed at Cape Schmidt. Later, in 1965—1966 a supermonitor for the measurements of the neutron component of cosmic rays began functioning at the station.

In collaboration with the IKFIA in 1972—1985 a number of field studies was conducted. The subject of studies included: ionosphere, short-period components of the magnetic field, radiowave propagation, ULF registration. A CMVS-2 digital magnetic variometer was installed in 1985 on the initiation of specialists from the IZMIRAN and has been registering the magnetic vector components since then.

In 1987 the Institute of Cosmophysical Researches and Radiowave Propagation, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKIR FEB RAS) was formed in Paratunka, and Cape Schmidt observatory became an autonomous subdivision of the IKIR.

А new digital variometer MAGDAS were installed at the Cape Schmidt observatory in 2005 with the help of the International Center for Space Weather Science and Education (Kyushu University, Japan) in terms of the MAGDAS international project. Also modern magnetometers and a new data acquisition system were installed in terms of collaboration with the GFZ Potsdam. The system of registration and processing of measurements of cosmic ray intensity was fully updated. All data is sent to IZMIRAN and IKIR in the 24/7 mode. Cape Schmidt observatory was included into a sequence of polar stations — Apatity, Barentsburg, Norilsk, Tiksi, Cape Schmidt — which participated in the international project "Space Ship Earth".

Main building of the magnetic complex

GEM Systems GSM-19FD dIdD magnetometer sensor (front) and MAGDAS vector magnetometer sensor (back) on a pillar in the variometer pavilion

Plots of dD data registered by the GSM-19FD magnetometer


Cape Schmidt geophysical observatory
Cape Schmidt 689350, Iul'tin District, Chukotka autonomous region, Russia


Name: Dr. Sergey Khomutov

E-mail: ikir‹at›ikir‹dot›ru

Tel.: +7 (41531) 3-31-93, +7 (41531) 3-33-67
Fax: +7 (41531) 3-37-18

GC RAS © 2013−2017
Geophysical Center of Russian Academy of Sciences