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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.
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.
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 exercises for the commissioning phase of SAGE III. The German Arctic research station Koldewey in Ny-Ålesund/Spitsbergen contributed to (i), (ii), and (iii) by performing measurements of stratospheric components like ozone, trace gases, aerosols (PSCs), temperature and winds. The main observation periods were from December 1999 to March 2000.
A tropospheric lidar system with a Nd:YAG-Laser was installed at the Koldewey-Station in 1998. It operates at a laser wavelengths of 355, 532, and 1064 nm with detection at 532 nm polarised and depolarised, and at Raman wavelengths like 607nm (nitrogen). It records profiles of aerosol content, aerosol depolarisation and aerosol extinction. During polar night the profils reach from the ground up to the tropopause level, while during polar day background light reduces the altitude range. The main goal of the investigations is to determine the climate impact of arctic aerosol. Analysis of the climate impact will be performed by a high resolution regional model run at the Alfred Wegener Institute (HIRHAM). The lidar system is capable to obtain water vapour profiles in the troposphere. Water vapour profiles are crucial for the understanding of the formation of aerosols. The water vapour profiles are also used for the validation of profiles measured by the CHAMP satellite from 2001 onwards.
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.