Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Collaborative Research: Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric State, and Precipitation at Summit (ICECAPS) (Award# 0856773)

PI: Walden, Von P (
Phone: (509) 335.5645  
Institute/Department: Washington State University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering  
IPY Project? NO
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\AON
Program Manager: Dr. Erica Key ( )
Discipline(s): | Meteorology and Climate\Atmospheric Radiation | Meteorology and Climate\Cloud Physics |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This award supports a field campaign that will expand the Arctic Observing Network (AON) by adding cloud, atmosphere, and precipitation measurements, and associated higher-order data products, to Summit, Greenland, at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The proposed instrument suite consists of a cloud radar, two microwave radiometers, an Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer, an X-band precipitation sensor, a ceilometer, a micropulse lidar, and a twice-daily radiosonde program. Measurements from this advanced suite of instruments, combined with some ongoing measurements at Summit, will be input for a number of algorithms to produce climatically useful geophysical data products to support GIS-specific and Arctic-wide research. Data products will include: (1) Atmospheric State - temperature and moisture profiles through the troposphere and lower stratosphere; (2) Cloud Macrophysics - cloud occurrence, vertical boundaries, and temperatures; (3) Cloud Microphysics - cloud phase, water content, optical depth, and particle size; (4) Precipitation - precipitation type and rate; and (5) Cloud Radiative Forcing - impact of clouds on the surface radiation balance. Together these products will augment similar data sets that are produced at other locations across the Arctic. It is anticipated and intended that these data sets will be widely used by the broader scientific community to understand the climates of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the broader Arctic Basin and to validate satellite retrievals and model simulations over Greenland. The "Broader Impacts" of this award are numerous. The proposed observations will contribute to the goals of the Study of Arctic Environmental Change (SEARCH). They will be the first of their kind on the Greenland Ice Sheet and will expand the existing, although modest, network of such measurements across the Arctic. Uncertainty in polar cloud properties is a major deficiency in current models of polar climate; the proposed observations of cloud macro- and micro-physics will provide some of the necessary constraints for improving model cloud algorithms. This project will provide important field work and data processing experience for graduate students at the University of Wisconsin, University of Colorado and University of Idaho. In addition, data and experiences from the field program will be integrated into undergraduate coursework at the University of Idaho and summer workshops at the University of Wisconsin.

Logistics Summary:
Researchers on this collaboration between Walden (0856773, U of Idaho), Turner (0904152, U of WI), and Shupe (0856559, CU) will carry out an intensive cloud experiment at Summit with fieldwork from late spring 2010 through late spring 2013. After installing instruments at Summit and initiating the experiments, the researchers will maintain a technician at the station year-round. This technician will monitor project instruments and complete an intensive balloon launch campaign with the assistance of on-site Summit technicians. During 2009 a field team of two will conduct a short reconnaissance trip. In May 2010, a field team of six will deploy to Summit and install a suite of instruments, to be maintained for the duration of the 2010 summer and the 2010-2011 winter by a dedicated science technician. In addition to the core ICECAPS experiments, a LiDAR and Sodar will be added to complement the existing suite of instruments. During 2011 the field team will visit Summit for routine maintenance and to minimize instrument down time during the annual Mobile Science Facility move. The deployments will be split into three different periods with an early season deployment for one researcher mid-April through early May, a short (~4 day) deployment for two researchers mid/late-May, and another short deployment (~4 days) mid-June. The ICECAPS project will continue to support one year-round science technician, who will follow the same seasonal staffing cylcle as the CPS crew (with exception of the summer ICECAPS technician, who will turn over mid season) and comply with all CPS safety and program requirements. For the 2012 field season, the deployments will be split into two different periods with an early season deployment for two researchers late April and a deployment for one researcher mid/late-May. Additional deployments may be necessary if further instrument maintenance is required. The ICECAPS project will continue to support one year-round science technician. The ICECAPS technicians will continue to follow the same seasonal staffing cycle as the CPS crew (with exception of the summer ICECAPS technician, who will turn over mid-season) and comply with all CPS safety and program requirements. Logistical details will be carried under 0856773. Future work for this project can be found under NSF grant 1414314.

CPS will provide ANG coordination for the field team and cargo; coordination and space for one passenger on winter air charters; in-transit user days in Kangerlussuaq; access to the Summit Station infrastructure and services, including construction support for relocating and maintaining the Mobile Science Facility; helium provision, shipment, and staging; early season and late season liquid nitrogen provision and shipment; and science technical services. The PIs will make all other arrangements and pay for them through the grant. NOTE: Support details are contingent on continued funding for the project. If funding is awarded, the scope of CPS support will be adjusted beginning in August 2013 to include provision of radiosondes, balloons, and parachutes for twice daily launches; and staffing of a project specific year-round science technician to support the project.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2009Greenland - Kangerlussuaq07 / 27 / 2009 08 / 06 / 20092
2009Greenland - Summit07 / 29 / 2009 08 / 04 / 20092
2010Greenland - Kangerlussuaq04 / 23 / 2010 12 / 31 / 201010
2010Greenland - Summit05 / 14 / 2010 12 / 31 / 201010
2011Greenland - Kangerlussuaq02 / 03 / 2011 11 / 08 / 201111
2011Greenland - Summit01 / 01 / 2011 12 / 31 / 201111
2012Greenland - Kangerlussuaq04 / 20 / 2012 08 / 17 / 20128
2012Greenland - Summit02 / 03 / 2012 12 / 31 / 201211
2013Greenland - Kangerlussuaq04 / 19 / 2013 08 / 21 / 20136
2013Greenland - Summit04 / 24 / 2013 08 / 19 / 20136

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