Thursday, 17 December 2015

MAC Campaign

The MAC (Microphysics of Antarctic Clouds) campaign

The start of the MAC campaign involving the twin otter (MASIN) aircraft and the CASLab as the ground based study. This was a NERC funded proposal involving the university of Manchester and BAS. This season there will be 4 BAS personnel and 3 from Manchester. The team above are ready to fly with their dry suits and life jackets on. The main objectives of the project are:1.To investigate the nature of Ice Nuclei (IN) and Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) in coastal Antarctic and to identify the dominant mechanisms responsible for the glaciation of clouds in this region.
2.To test whether the Polar Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) and the Met Office Large Eddy Cloud Resolving Model (LEM) are able to reproduce the observed cloud microphysics and the surface radiation balance below cloud.
3.To develop new cloud parameterizations for this region.

The MAC project SPIN instrument (measures the number of ice nuclei) and cylinders being moved from and onto the platform ready for the MAC campaign. It is the only time when vehicles are allowed into the clean air sector or when they decide to move the building or raise the 40m tower.

The desk space is now quite full with various aerosol instruments to measure and count the various particles that we hope to encounter. There will also be bag sampling from the aircraft and filters at the CASLab.

A blustery day for a walk to the CASLab and back to the modules. The one way 1.2km walk takes about 15 minutes on a solid footing day when the ground is solid but on a day with 30km winds and soft snow it can upto 30 minutes.

Another man-hauling day with instruments to the CASLab with the help of Alex and Celine. More instruments for the MAC campaign.

Ready for the next science cloud flight with Constantino, TLC and Vicki (the pilot). Having to wear a dry suit and a life-jacket for the whole period which made it slightly uncomfortable but the flying just below clouds created turbulence which made one feel uncomfortable. The length of the flight was about 4 hours at a maximum altitude of 4000 ft.

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