Monday, 19 November 2012

The Antarctic summer season has started

A new season has begun at the Princess Elisabeth station in East Antarctica. A week ago the first team arrived at the station. Have a look at their reports ( It is also time for me to re-activate the blog. I will be also this season at the Belgian station. There are again a lot of things to do. First, the three instruments which were measuring during the winter have to be checked and maintained. The particle number size distribution instrument, the aethalometer (mass of light-absorbing particles) and the TEOM-FDMS (total particle mass) measured during a good part of the Antarctic winter until end of August when the power in the shelter broke down due to a minor electronic control device. However, the main station remained on power and this is really good news. It means that it is possible to run the station un-manned with remote control. Besides the three already mentioned instruments, I will re-install the Brewer spectrophotometer (total atmospheric ozone amount and spectral UV radiation) and the sunphotometer (total atmospheric aerosol optical depth) on the station’s roof, and also the instruments for particle total number concentration and particle scattering in the shelter. On the station’s roof there will also be a new pyranometer (total solar irradiation) and two sensors for UV-A and UV-B irradiation installed. In addition, I’ll maintain the instruments of the Hydrant project ( and I plan to do some snow pits, snow profiles digging again. The current plan says that we will fly on Wednesday night to Antarctica, to the Russian air base at Novolazarevskaya. At the moment I am in Cape Town, together with the next team to arrive at Princess Elisabeth – a group of 10 people, internationally well mixed (Belgian, French, British, Japanese, Swiss, German), like usual for Belgian projects.

No comments:

Post a Comment