2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Aeronomy & Astrophysics

Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 90-17805
Station: McMurdo Station
RPSC POC: Robbie Score
Research Site(s): Crary Lab, balloon facility

Study of polar stratospheric clouds by LIDAR
Dr. Alberto Adriani
Instituto De Fisica Dell'Atmosfera
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche
Dr. Guido Di Donfrancesco
Instituto De Fisica Dell'Atmosfera

Deploying Team Members: Francesco Cairo . Paola Massoli
Research Objectives: The appearance each spring of the stratospheric ozone hole above Antarctica is driven by chlorine compounds interacting on the surfaces of clouds known as polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs). This is one explanation for why ozone depletion is much more severe in polar regions than elsewhere.

This project uses an optical radar (LIDAR, LIght Detection And Ranging) to study the PSCs, stratospheric aerosol, and the thermal behavior and dynamics of the atmosphere above McMurdo Station. Continuous LIDAR observations provide insight into the formation, evolution, and other characteristics of these PSCs.

McMurdo LIDAR is part of the Network for Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC), a global set of high-quality remote-sounding research stations for observing and understanding the physical and chemical state of the atmosphere. McMurdo is considered a primary NDSC site for LIDAR observations and for monitoring stratospheric aerosol and clouds. Such data also provide a complement to the information gained from balloon-borne instruments in project AO-131-O, and thus collaborative activities are being coordinated with the University of Wyoming.

Field Season Overview:
The researchers will continue operation of the LIDAR (light radar) located in Phase II of McMurdo Station's Crary Science and Engineering Center (Crary Lab). Project team members will coordinate their LIDAR observations with Terry Deshler's (AO-131-O) ozonesonde and atmospheric aerosol balloon launches.

One team member will train the winter-over science technician in LIDAR operation. During the austral winter, the science technician will operate the LIDAR at regular, prearranged times. The McMurdo Station weather office will also support this project by taking winter meteorological soundings.