POLAR6 - Back in the lab

All the NETCARE participants have arrived safely back home and we are all working on the process of interrogating our data and doing our best to understand the measurements we made in the field. I am working with flight data acquired using the Soot-Particle Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (SP-AMS) from eleven science flights, as well as from ferry flights between Muskoka airport and Resolute. 

 

Overall, I am very pleased with the performance of the SP-AMS during the science flights (I was very fortunate that nothing broke during the campaign!). Since the Arctic is such a clean environment in the summer I am very happy that I was able to detect aerosol components such as sulphate, ammonium, organic species and methansulfonic acid. Using these data I hope to be able to gain a clearer understanding of aerosol composition in the summertime arctic and how this composition changes with altitude. My first impressions of the data suggest that I can observe a stronger influence of the ocean on aerosol composition at lower altitudes, through increased levels of methanesulfonic acid. At the same time I can see that the extent of aerosol aging (or oxygenation) seems to increase with altitude. A question is whether these more aged particles aloft are from regional sources within the Arctic or are due to long range transport.

 

Looking ahead, as part of the NETCARE HQP training program I will be travelling to Halifax in November, to work with Randall Martin and Betty Croft. While there I hope to make the first steps towards comparing the data I collected this summer with the global chemical transport model GEOS-Chem. Later in the fall I will be travelling with other NETCARE HQP to San Francisco for the American Geophysical Union annual conference, where we will be presenting our results from the summer campaigns. 

 

While thinking about what to write for this blog entry I found myself looking back through my photos from the campaign. For my final post about the NETCARE summer campaign here are a few moments that made me smile. Enjoy!

 
Our aircraft engineer, Kevin, relaxes on the way up to Resolute. We were extremely fortunate to have Kevin with us on our campaign. His experience and dedication made everything run smoothly.
Our aircraft engineer, Kevin, relaxes on the way up to Resolute. We were extremely fortunate to have Kevin with us on our campaign. His experience and dedication made everything run smoothly.
Franzi and Richard trying fit themselves into their bench seat with their survival suits on. It took us all a while to get accustomed to wearing these suits during the flights; they are quite bulky and made us all a bit clumsy!
Franzi and Richard trying fit themselves into their bench seat with their survival suits on. It took us all a while to get accustomed to wearing these suits during the flights; they are quite bulky and made us all a bit clumsy!

Laughs aboard Polar 6 (photo courtesy of Johannes Schneider)
Laughs aboard Polar 6 (photo courtesy of Johannes Schneider)
Christian has some fun with our mascot, Carusso (the super chicken). Christian and the other AWI engineers (Lucas and Jens) provided great support during our campaign. They kept the science aspects of
Christian has some fun with our mascot, Carusso (the super chicken). Christian and the other AWI engineers (Lucas and Jens) provided great support during our campaign. They kept the science aspects of

A rainbow around our shadow above a thin cloud
A rainbow around our shadow above a thin cloud

-Megan Willis, NETCARE Graduate Student

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