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In preparation to the launch of the SAGE III experiment in March 2001, NASA and the European Union performed the SOLVE / THESEO-2000 campaign, which had three components: (i) an aircraft campaign using the NASA DC-8 and ER-2 airplanes out of Kiruna/Sweden, (ii) launches of large stratospheric research balloons from Kiruna, (iii) validation excercises for the commissioning phase of SAGE III. The German Arctic research station Koldewey in Ny-Ålesund/Spitsbergen contributes to (i), (ii), and (iii) by performing measurements of stratospheric components like ozone, trace gases, aerosols (PSCs), temperature and winds. The measurement results were transmitted quasi online to the flight planning center in Kiruna, in order to allow a better directing of the air plane flights. In addition the Koldewey-Station has been designated a validation anchor site for the SAGE III validation. The activities are organized within a NASA accepted proposal of ground-based validation support by the NDSC Primary Station at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen and by a SAGE III validation working group for Ny-Ålesund. The main observation periods are from December 1999 to March 2000.
Stratospheric aerosols like Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) or volcanic aerosols are investigated by different types of balloon borne sensors in co-operation with the University of Nagoya, Japan, and the University of Wisconsin, Laramie, Wisconsin. The sensors flown are dedicated optilca particle counters (OPC) or backscatter sondes (BKS), respectively.
The stratospheric multi wavelength LIDAR instrument, which is part of the NDSC contribution of the Koldewey-Station, consists of two lasers, a XeCl-Excimer laser for UV-wavelengths and a Nd:YAG-laser for near IR- and visible wavelengths, two telescopes (of 60 cm and 150 cm diameter) and a detection system with eight channels. Ozone profiles are obtained by the DIAL method using the wavelengths at 308 and 353 nm. Aerosol data is recorded at three wavelengths (353 nm, 532 nm, 1064 nm) with depolarization measurements at 532 nm. In addition the vibrational N2-Raman scattered light at 608 nm is recorded. As lidar measurements require clear skies and a low background light level, the observations are concentrated on the winter months from November through March. The most prominent feature is the regular observation of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs). PSCs are known to be a necessary prerequisite for the strong polar ozone loss, which is observed in the Arctic (and above Spitsbergen). The PSC data set accumulated during the last years allows the characterization of the various types of PSCs and how they form and develop. The 353 and 532 nm channels are also used for temperature retrievals in the altitude range above the aerosol layer up to 50 km.