2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

High-resolution Na Doppler LiDAR observations of the middle and upper atmosphere at McMurdo, Antarctica

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Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1443726

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Neal Scheibe / Richard Dean / Chad Naughton

Principal Investigator

Dr. Xinzhao Chu

University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colorado


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Arrival Heights


The project will deploy a narrowband, three-frequency Na (Sodium) Doppler LiDAR to McMurdo Station that is capable of measuring both winds and temperatures vertically. This LiDAR will make high-resolution observations of the middle and upper atmosphere and simultaneous observations with the co-located Fe Boltzmann LiDAR, which has been hosted by Antarctica New Zealand (ANZ) in their Arrival Heights building since late 2010. The Na Doppler observations will provide critical data to address key science challenges associated with the space-atmosphere interaction region.

Field Season Overview

This season, the team will make modifications to Antarctica New Zealand's Lab C at Arrival Heights to prepare for the Student Training and Atmospheric Research (STAR) Na Doppler LiDAR deployment in the 2017-18 season. The work on Lab C will include: adding electrical power, making modifications to accommodate the STAR Na Doppler LiDAR telescope hatch and outgoing laser beam, and adding an HVAC system for heat dissipation and room temperature stabilization. The team will also address electromagnetic interference (EMI) issues with the laser transmitter installation using RF filters, as was done for the existing Fe Boltzmann LiDAR.

Deploying Team Members

  • Xinzhao Chu (PI)
  • John Smith