8.4 Designing an Integrated Sensor System for Deployment in the Polar Regions

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 9:15 AM
203 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Justin Lentz, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. D. Landolt, M. W. Seefeldt, and T. Nylen

A series of sensors were deployed near McMurdo Station, Antarctica from December 2017 to November 2019. The sensors were installed as a part of the Antarctic Precipitation Systems (APS) project to measure precipitation in Antarctica. Deploying sensors in the polar regions presents a unique challenge due to the extreme weather conditions that the observing systems need to withstand to take accurate measurements. For instance, the lack of solid land to support sensor installation requires unique mounting techniques for installing sensors on snow and ice. Sensor mounting schemes also need to be carefully developed to ensure the sensors will not become damaged by the environmental conditions.

One of the unique installation requirements for the APSs was the inclusion of a double Alter-style wind shield to improve the collection efficiency of the precipitation gauge. While these shields help reduce the wind speed, they also must endure significant stress associated with wind loading, requiring unique methods for installing and securing them in the Antarctic environment.

This presentation will focus on the methods developed for mounting the sensors and installing these systems in Antarctica. Design and installation of the gauge wind shielding will also be discussed.

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