2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
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2020-2021 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Collaborative Research: Fe and Na LiDAR Investigations of Geospace-Atmosphere Temperature, Composition, Chemistry, and Dynamics at McMurdo, Antarctica

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A-123-M Research Location(s): Antarctica New Zealand Lab C at Arrival Heights


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Richard Dean

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Xinzhao Chu
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colorado

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Antarctica New Zealand Lab C at Arrival Heights


Researchers on this project operate two narrow-band, multi-frequency Doppler LiDARs at McMurdo Station. These LiDARs can make high-resolution observations of winds and temperatures in the middle and upper atmosphere. Simultaneous observations by the two instruments - a sodium LiDAR and an iron Boltzmann LiDAR - provide unprecedented levels of detail to characterize atmospheric conditions. The instruments have been hosted by Antarctica New Zealand (ANZ) in their Arrival Heights laboratory since late 2010. The observations provide critical data to address key science challenges associated with the space-atmosphere interaction region and, in particular, the sparsely observed high-latitude southern hemisphere.

Field Season Overview

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020-21 field plans for this project are in flux. Under consideration are plans to deploy three participants during the summer, two of which would remain on station during winter 2021. In addition, the two winter 2020 researchers would remain on station for the the bulk of the 2020-21 austral summer season. Should these plans not come to fruition, the equipment will be shut down sometime during the 2021-21 austral summer and there will be no winter 2021 operations.

Deploying Team Members

  • Xinzhao Chu (PI)
  • Arunima Prakash