Thursday, 14 November 2013

Back to the clean atmosphere

This saturday I will leave again for the Antarctic. Before arriving there, however, I will stay for transit in Cape Town, South Africa, as usual. It will be my fifth time already at the Belgian research station Princess Elisabeth. On saturday, we will be four scientists to leave from Brussels (all working for Belgian projects, but no Belgian, this is so typical for this welcoming country), and one field guide (Swiss) will join us in London. This season I first will have to check all instruments if they are still fine or if there is any damage after the long period of non-operation. Again, I will be responsible also for the meteo-cloud-precipitation instrumentation of the Hydrant project of KU Leuven. And also, as usual, there will be something new - this time it will be a cloud condensation nuclei counter from the Institute of tropospheric research, TROPOS, in Leipzig, Germany. This instrument will measure the concentration of particles being able to form cloud droplets (not every particle is being able to do that). It will give us valuable information to link aerosol properties to cloud and precipitation patterns. Further, the possibility to conduct filter sampling of particles for later chemical analysis will be explored and later in the summer season, first radiosonde balloon launches will be undertaken in collaboration with the Swiss federal institute for 'Wald, Schnee und Landschaft' ( and the International Polar Foundation. So, I will try to keep this blog update on a regular basis. The images above shows the typically polluted urban atmosphere of Brussels with rather low visibility and the clean atmosphere in Antarctica with a view up to the Romnoes mountain (to the right on the image), around 60 km away from the station.

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