Since January 2023, the Oceanet mobile exploratory platform is deployed to Germany’s Antarctic station Neumayer III, located on the Ekstrom ice shelf.
The project ‘COALA (Continuous observations of Aerosol-Cloud Interactions in Antarctica)’, which is funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) aims to gather the first one-year, height-resolved synergistic dataset of aerosol, clouds, and precipitation properties on an Antarctic ice shelf. This data will help to understand the role of abundant supercooled-liquid water in precipitation formation and its impacts on the radiative budget, considering in addition potential effects of vertical air motions. For the project, a vertical-stare 35-Ghz polarimetric cloud radar Metek Mira-35 and a sun-lunar-sky photometer Cimel CE-318T were added to Oceanet’s standard instrumentation (a multi-wavelength polarization Raman lidar Polly-XT, a microwave radiometer RPG HATPRO-G5, and a scanning Doppler lidar LiTra-S of Abacus), allowing to apply the main ACTRIS aerosol and cloud property retrievals to be applied on the dataset.
On-site supervision and regular maintenance of the instruments during the Antarctic winter will be taken care of by a TROPOS scientist, joining the regular winter team of the Alfred Wegener Institute. It is foreseen, that the first data will be available through the ACTRIS Data Centre by the end of 2023.