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Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 1992-93: VUWAE 37

LOGISTICS REPORT K041 1992-93: UV and Antarctic Skies

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K041: UV and Antarctic Skies

Antarctica New Zealand October 1992-November 1992

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1 Aims

Our measurements during 1990 identified low maximum polarisation of sky light and strong low-azimuth back-scattered light as two characteristic features of the Antarctic skies. We suggested in our analysis of these features that they came about by multiple reflections from the snow-ice surfaces surrounding the Tent Island site (and most of Antarctica). Our hypothesis was that the skies over the Dry Valleys would differ, since the amount of back-scattering would be very much reduced. The two sites have essentially the same latitude, and the same unpolluted air, so a direct comparison should put in evidence the effects of surface albedo.

We planned to look for enhancement of UVB radiation at these sites associated with any ozone hole. We planned to study algae sensitivity to UV radiation.

2 Planning

iv Tekapo training course. The Tekapo course comes at a time when university staff are very busy (exam deadlines and marking of tests). For returning people, the present arrangement involves more time than is warranted which is not good for moral. Meeting the Scott Base staff is very worthwhile, and the event briefings are essential. These could be done in a one day session in Christchurch.

3 Cargo

5 no-freeze boxes weighing approx 500kg. All transport arrangements went well.

4 Personnel

Professor David Beaglehole and Grant G.Carter, Physics Department, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand.

5 Scott Base preparations

We were very pleased with the cooperation and assistance given by Scott Base staff, which enabled us to move out to the Tent Island site very quickly. Haskell with Scott Base personnel had already transported our laboratory wannigen and tent to the site, and set up the electrical supply.

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6 Field transport

Again all went very smoothly. We were particularly grateful for the cooperation we were given in arranging the helicopter flights to Vanda and back to Scott Base at unplanned times -earlier than expected due to the excellent weather we encountered.

7 Event Diary

October 21 to Scott Base

October 23 to Tent Island site

October 31 helicopter to Lake Vanda

6 November helicopter to Scott Base with stop at Bull Pass

8 November to Christchurch

14 Lake Vanda Station

The overall condition was excellent. We were unable to get any clear charging of the battery bank by the solar cells, and the voltage was low, so we used our own generator and batteries. The diesel heater smoked badly, but the oven went well and provided sufficient heat and melting of ice.