Collaborative Research: Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice Interaction in a Coastal Polynya
Antarctic polynyas are the ice free zones often persisting in continental sea ice. Characterization of the lower atmosphere properties, air-sea surface heat fluxes and corresponding ocean depth profiles of Antarctic polynyas, especially during strong wind events, is needed for a more detailed understanding of the role of polynya in the production of latent-heat type sea ice and the formation, through brine rejection, of dense ocean bottom waters.
Broader impacts: A key technological innovation, the use of instrumented uninhabited aircraft systems (UAS), will be employed to enable the persistent and safe observation of the interaction of light and strong katabatic wind fields with the Terra Nova Bay (Victoria Land, Antarctica) polynya waters during late winter and early summer time frames. The use of UAS observational platforms on the continent to date has to date been modest, but demonstration of their versatility and effectiveness in surveying and observing mode is a welcome development. The projects use of UAS platforms by University of Colorado and LDEO (Columbia) researchers is both high risk, and potentially transformative for the systematic data measurement tasks that many Antarctic science applications increasingly require.
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