Articles | Volume 3, issue 1
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 249–261, 2010
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 249–261, 2010

  17 Feb 2010

17 Feb 2010

Development of an autonomous sea ice tethered buoy for the study of ocean-atmosphere-sea ice-snow pack interactions: the O-buoy

T. N. Knepp1, J. Bottenheim2, M. Carlsen3, D. Carlson4, D. Donohoue4, G. Friederich5, P. A. Matrai6, S. Netcheva2, D. K. Perovich7, R. Santini3, P. B. Shepson1,8,9, W. Simpson4, T. Valentic10, C. Williams8, and P. J. Wyss3 T. N. Knepp et al.
  • 1Purdue University, Department of Chemistry, 560 Oval Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
  • 2Environment Canada, Toronto, Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4, Canada
  • 3Jonathan Amy Facility for Chemical Instrumentation, Purdue University, 560 Oval Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
  • 4University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK 99775-6160, USA
  • 5Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Rd., Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
  • 6Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, 180 McKown Pt., West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575, USA
  • 7US Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, 72 Lyme Rd., Hanover, NH 03755, USA
  • 8Purdue University, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
  • 9Purdue Climate Change Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47909, USA
  • 10SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA

Abstract. A buoy based instrument platform (the "O-buoy") was designed, constructed, and field tested for year-round measurement of ozone, bromine monoxide, carbon dioxide, and meteorological variables over Arctic sea ice. The O-buoy operated in an autonomous manner with daily, bi-directional data transmissions using Iridium satellite communication. The O-buoy was equipped with three power sources: primary lithium-ion battery packs, rechargeable lead acid packs, and solar panels that recharge the lead acid packs, and can fully power the O-buoy during summer operation. This system was designed to operate under the harsh conditions present in the Arctic, with minimal direct human interaction, to aid in our understanding of the atmospheric chemistry that occurs in this remote region of the world. The current design requires approximately yearly maintenance limited by the lifetime of the primary power supply. The O-buoy system was field tested in Elson Lagoon, Barrow, Alaska from February to May 2009, and deployed in the Beaufort Sea in October 2009. Here, we describe the design and present preliminary data.