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Comparison of the atmosphere above the South Pole, Dome C and Dome A: first attempt
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences. (meteorologi)
Osserv Astrofis Arcetri, INAF, I-50125 Florence, Italy.
Osserv Astrofis Arcetri, INAF, I-50125 Florence, Italy.
Osserv Astrofis Arcetri, INAF, I-50125 Florence, Italy.
2008 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 387, no 4, 1499-1510 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The atmospheric properties above three sites (Dome C, Dome A and the South Pole) on the Internal Antarctic Plateau are investigated for astronomical applications using the monthly median of the analyses from ECMWF (the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts). Radiosoundings extended on a yearly time-scale at the South Pole and Dome C are used to quantify the reliability of the ECMWF analyses in the free atmosphere as well as in the boundary and surface layers, and to characterize the median wind speed in the first 100 m above the two sites. Thermodynamic instability properties in the free atmosphere above the three sites are quantified with monthly median values of the Richardson number. We find that the probability to trigger thermodynamic instabilities above 100 m is smaller on the Internal Antarctic Plateau than on mid-latitude sites. In spite of the generally more stable atmospheric conditions of the Antarctic sites compared to mid-latitude sites, Dome C shows worse thermodynamic instability conditions than those predicted above the South Pole and Dome A above 100 m. A rank of the Antarctic sites done with respect to the strength of the wind speed in the free atmosphere (ECMWF analyses) as well as the wind shear in the surface layer (radiosoundings) is presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 387, no 4, 1499-1510 p.
Keyword [en]
turbulence, atmospheric effects, site testing, ANTARCTIC PLATEAU, SITE, ASTRONOMERS, TURBULENCE
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Meteorology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-87235DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13361.xISI: 000257706200013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-87235DiVA: diva2:25206
Available from: 2008-09-23 Created: 2008-09-23 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Optical Turbulence Characterization for Ground-Based Astronomy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optical Turbulence Characterization for Ground-Based Astronomy
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The optical turbulence, which creates perturbations of the wavefronts coming from the stars, is caused by small-scale fluctuations in the index of refraction of the atmosphere and is a problem for astronomers because it limits the maximum resolution of the ground-based telescopes. One way of identifying the best sites to build astronomical observatories, where the influence of the optical turbulence is as small as possible, is to use the standard meteorological parameters to get a first idea of the potential of a site. In the first part of this thesis the three sites on the Internal Antarctic Plateau that are the most interesting for astronomers (Dome A, Dome C and the South Pole) are investigated using the operational analyses of the ECMWF and a ranking of these three sites is presented.

The second part of this thesis focuses on the ability of the mesoscale model Meso-NH to simulate the optical turbulence as well as the wind speed at Mt Graham (AZ, USA). A rich sample of measurements of the vertical distribution of the optical turbulence, the largest sample used in this type of study so far, is used to calibrate the Meso-NH model and to quantify its ability to simulate the optical turbulence. The measurements are distributed over different periods of the year thus making it possible to evaluate the performance of the model in different seasons. Both the vertical distribution of the optical turbulence and the astroclimatic parameters (seeing, wavefront coherence time and isoplanatic angle) are investigated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 68 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 778
Keyword
site testing, atmospheric effects, turbulence, optical turbulence, applied meteorology, mesoscale models
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Meteorology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132798 (URN)978-91-554-7926-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-09, Axel Hambergsalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
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Note
Felaktigt tryckt som Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 708Available from: 2010-11-17 Created: 2010-10-27 Last updated: 2011-03-21Bibliographically approved

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