Meteo-Climatological Observatory, Programma Nazionale di Richerche in Antartide, Italy

Data Center Description
The main goal of the meteorological observatory is the collection of continuous
and accurate measurements. This will produce a data set that could be used for
meteo-climatological and atmospheric studies, local weather forecasting, and
supporting scientific activities that use meteorological data. Therefore,
during Antarctic expeditions, the main jobs are to carry out the maintenance of
the automatic weather survey stations, recover the data collected locally by
solid state memories (ground data), undertake atmospheric soundings (in order
to collect data from upper atmospheric layers), and maintain equipment used in
the Terra Nova Bay meteorological office.

Besides checking the mechanical installations (mast, batteries, etc.), the
maintenance normally includes the control of the electronic parts (data
acquisition system, central processing unit, etc.) and the sensors. The values
of pressure, temperature and relative humidity are compared with those measured
by calibrated instruments. Wind speed and direction sensors that are not
working correctly, due to deterioration of moving mechanical parts, are
replaced. Recently, stations located on the Antarctic Plateau were equipped
with sensors for the measurement of snow accumulation/ablation.

In 1987, an atmospheric radiosounding station was installed, at the
meteorological laboratory of the Italian base. The system includes a
meteorological station for data collection at ground level and a receiving
ground station (VAISALA Marwin 12), which receives data transmitted via radio
by the sonde and stores them in a computer with dedicated software that shows
the real-time trend of the measured parameters. The data received are stored in
ASCII files, and then coded in the standard meteorological format TEMP, to be
sent to the Global Communication System of the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO-GTS). While in Antarctica, two balloons are launched every
day at 00:00 and 12:00 UTC to measure temperature, pressure relative humidity
and wind between 20 and 30km high.

During the operation of the runway in Tethys Bay, Terra Nova Bay meteorological
office needs particular instruments to complete the information that is to be
communicated to the pilots during approach and landing. As a result, at the
beginning of each expedition a CT12K VAISALA ceilometer is installed to measure
the height of the cloud base and, a couple of anemometric towers (Alfa and
Bravo) are installed to measure wind speed and direction. These instruments are
connected to monitors in the Meteorological Office via modem (ceilometer) and
via radio (anemometer).

Additional information can be found at

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