University of Colorado Boulder
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Pegasus Field / Williams Fields / Sea ice
Antarctic coastal polynas are, at the same time, ice-free and sea ice factories. They are pools of open water often surrounded by miles of sea ice. Scientists’ ability to model the formation and persistence of these productive and diverse ocean ecosystems is hampered by the relative lack of in situ meteorological and physical oceanographic observations, especially during the inhospitable conditions of their formation and activity during the polar night. A key technological innovation that will enable progress in understanding polynyas is the use of instrumented Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Project researchers will fly UAVs from McMurdo Station to Terra Nova Bay to make in situ measurements of the atmospheric boundary layer.
Field Season Overview:
Six participants will deploy to McMurdo Station at WINFLY. Making day-trips to the local airfields and sea-ice locations, they will launch Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO) UAVs. During flights, researchers will monitor vehicle status, location and receive data telemetry.
Deploying Team Members:
John Cassano (PI)
Shelley Knuth (Co-PI)