2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Aeronomy & Astrophysics

Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 99-80594
Station: McMurdo Station
RPSC POC: Robbie Score
Research Site(s): Balloon facility

In situ measurements of polar stratospheric clouds, condensation nuclei, and ozone during the austral winter and spring
Dr. Terry Deshler
University of Wyoming
Department of Atmospheric Science
Dr. Chris Kroger
University of Wyoming

Deploying Team Members: Terry L Deshler . Chris Kroger . Chuntao Liu
Research Objectives: The development of the antarctic ozone hole will be measured by balloon-borne instruments launched from McMurdo Station. Approximately 25 ozonesondes will provide concentration profiles of ozone from the surface to 30-35 km. This record will document the temporal and vertical development of the annual austral winter/spring ozone loss. Approximately 45 ozonesonde measurements are planned for the following austral winter.

The winter 2003 measurements will be part of an international campaign, "Quantitative Understanding of Ozone losses by Bipolar Investigations" (QUOBI), with instruments provided primarily by the European Commission, to compare measured and modeled ozone loss for the antarctic polar vortex. This campaign will include ozone measurements from numerous antarctic locations in addition to McMurdo -- Neumayer, Dumont d'Urville, Syowa, Belgrano, Rothera, South Pole, Marambio, and Davis. The ozone measurements at each station are overseen by the individual investigators responsible. The field measurements will be coordinated in terms of timing by the Alfred Wegner Institute, Potsdam, Germany. The goal is to repeatedly sample nearly the same air parcel, as it circulates over the antarctic continent. Trajectory forecast models identify appropriate times for a measurement from each station. When a number of measurements are completed on a similar air parcel, then the ozone amount measured within that air parcel, as a function of time and solar illumination, can be compared with the predictions of chemical transport models.

This experiment will test several issues concerning our quantitative understanding of polar ozone loss and will require the coordination of a number of research personnel. This experiment has been performed several times in the Arctic but this is the first attempt in the Antarctic. The measurements are planned to begin in June 2003 and will continue at the rate of about 4-5 measurements per week from each station until the end of the ozone loss period, October 2003.

Field Season Overview:
This field season, researchers will launch balloon-borne instruments called ozonesondes from McMurdo Station. Ozonesondes are lightweight, balloon-borne instruments that are mated to a conventional transmitter-equipped meteorological instrument known as a radiosonde. This group cooperates with Alberto Adriani's LIDAR work (AO-117-O) and collaborates with Linnea Avallone's work with ozone-depleting bromine compounds (AO-132-O).

After flights, project team members travel by helicopter to recover the instruments which are expected to be scattered within a 100-nautical-mile-radius of McMurdo Station on the Ross Ice Shelf.

The winter-over science technician will receive training in instrument preparation, launching techniques, and data acquisition. The science technician and other support contractor personnel in McMurdo will carry out winter balloon launches.