Cape Town - View to Robben Island
View on Camps Bay Beach near Cape Town
From the nine scientists 5 are from the ICECON project, one is the InBev-Baillet Latour Fund winner (BENEMELT project), one is working on the SMEAIS project, and two are for the atmospheric research programme of the Royal Meteorological Institute – Quentin Laffineur and I. The first thing we will have to do upon arrival at the station is to check the status of the five instruments which were staying there over the austral winter months. They have been operational until mid-May and were literally in the freezer afterwards because of a general power outage of the station. We will check if they have encountered any damage, do necessary tests for proper operation and put them back into operation if these tests are positive. In the air cargo travelling with us, there are four more instruments which will be re-installed by Quentin and me. One is the good old sunphotometer, which is returning for its seventh consecutive measurement season (it travels always back and forth because of its necessary yearly calibration in Europe). The second instrument is the Brewer ozone spectrophotometer which had to be brought back last season because of necessary repairs concerning its power module and for a calibration. The nephelometer had also to be repaired and will hopefully run again continuously, including the austral winter months. And finally, as last season, we will have a cloud condensation nuclei counter of the TROPOS institute in Leipzig, Germany.
The first two mentioned instruments will be installed on the station’s roof, and the latter two in the southern scientific shelter. For a description of all our instruments, have a look at the link to the right (BELATMOS project description). In addition, we will check all instruments of the HYDRANT project, dig one or two snow profiles as usual, and we will install a new radiosonde ground station for launching radiosondes. The radiosonde programme is a collaboration of RMI with the International Polar Foundation and the institute for ‘Wald, Schnee und Landschaft’ of the ETH Zürich, Switzerland. We will surely write more on this later. Altogether, this makes up for a nicely filled programme for the around 30 days of our stay at Princess Elisabeth station and I am happy that Quentin of our Ozone-UV-Aerosol group of RMI accompanies me this season.