A network of autonomous surface ozone monitors in Antarctica: technical description and first results
Abstract. A suite of 10 autonomous ozone monitoring units, each powered using renewable energy, was developed and built to study surface ozone in Antarctica during the International Polar Year (2007–2009). The monitoring systems were deployed in a network around the Weddell Sea sector of coastal Antarctica with a transect up onto the Antarctic Plateau. The aim was to measure for a full year, thus gaining a much-improved broader view of boundary layer ozone seasonality at different locations as well as of factors affecting the budget of surface ozone in Antarctica. Ozone mixing ratios were measured based on UV photometry using a modified version of the commercial 2B Technologies Inc. Model 202 instrument. All but one of the autonomous units measured successfully within its predefined duty cycle throughout the year, with some differences in performance dependent on power availability and ambient temperature. Mean data recovery after removal of outliers was on average 70% (range 44–83%) and precision varied between 1.5 and 8 ppbv, thus was sufficiently good to resolve year-round the main ozone features of scientific interest. We conclude that, with adequate power, and noting a minor communication problem, our units would be able to operate successfully at ambient temperatures down to −60 °C. Systems such as the one described in this paper, or derivatives of it, could therefore be deployed either as local or regional networks elsewhere in the Arctic or Antarctic. Here we present technical information and first results from the experiment.