Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar
Probing the Antarctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer with Autonomous Observing Systems
by Dr. John J. Cassano, Associate Professor ATOC/CIRES, University of Colorado
Automatic weather stations and small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used to observe the Antarctic atmospheric boundary layer. A 30 m instrumented tower on the Ross Ice Shelf has been used to characterize the temperature, stability, and wind of the lowest portion of the boundary layer. Data from this tower have also been used to evaluate forecasts from the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System. Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO) and Aerosonde UAVs have been used to observe the boundary layer over the Ross Ice Shelf, in the Wright Valley, and over Terra Nova Bay during both summer and later winter conditions. Comparison of the boundary layer over these diverse surfaces and seasons has been made. Data from the UAVs have also been used to estimate turbulent heat fluxes and to estimate terms in the horizontal momentum equation. Opportunities and challenges operating UAVs in the Antarctic will be discussed.