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ASTAR, Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol and Radiation is a a joint German (AWI Potsdam) - Japanese (NIPR Tokyo) campaign with participation from NASA LaRC Hampton, VA (USA). In addition to AWI, NIPR, and NASA LaRC the following institutions contributed to the project: Hokkaido University (Japan), Nagoya University (Japan), Norwegian Polar Institute Tromsoe/ Longyearbyen (Norway), NILU Kjeller (Norway), MISU Stockholm (Sweden), NOAA-CMDL Boulder, CO (USA) and Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany). The campaign is based on simultaneous airborne measurements from the German research aircraft POLAR 4 and ground-based measurements in Ny-Ålesund. The main goals of the project are - to measure aerosol parameters of climate relevance, like extinction coefficient, absoprtion coefficients and phase function. - to create an Arctic Aerosol Data Set for climate impact investigation by using the regional climate model HIRHAM. - to carry out comparison measurements with the SAGE II (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment) and the ground based Raman-Lidar.
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.
SAGE III was successfully launched on 10. Dec. 2001 on a Russian M3 rocket. It provides accurate data of aerosols, water vapour, ozone, and other key parameters of the earth's atmosphere. The science team of the SAGE III experiment at NASA has nominated the Koldewey-Station as an anchor site to contribute within the Data Validation Plan as part of the Operational Surface Networks. Data directly relevant to the SAGE III validation are aerosol measurements by photometers and lidar, as well as temperature measurements and ozone profiling by balloon borne sondes, lidar and microwave radiometer. Data will be provided quasi online for immediate validation tasks.
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.