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AWI Aircraft Operation during MOSAiC


Program / partnership
Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Project topic
Atmosphere - ice coupling
Atmosphere - ocean coupling
Atmospheric science
Climate research
Ice - ocean coupling
Remote sensing
Sea ice

Project details

Science / project plan

The Airborne Operation during MOSAIC are complementary measurements to the MOSAiC Site and the scientific objectives of the are follows:

  1. Spatial and seasonal variability of ABL processes as a function of large-scale flow, sea ice characteristics and clouds
  2. Surface property maps (albedo / BRF parameter) to identify typical scales and distributions of the surface variability in the Arctic
  3. Horizontal and vertical variability of trace gases, VOC’s, BC and Arctic aerosols and their interaction with clouds
  4. Influence of macro- and microphysical cloud properties on precipitation and the Arctic radiative energy budget.
  5. Adding spatial component to local sea ice and snow mass balance studies at MOSAIC observatory

The deliveries of this complementary measurements during these four airborne operations are follows:

  1. Detailed information on turbulent fluxes of heat, humidity and momentum for turbulence parametrizations in the free ABL over sea ice
  2. Detailed information on the surface reflection properties (BRF), including information on the albedo over ice/snow and open water
  3. Detailed information on the aerosol and BC number concentration and size distribution, and trace gas concentrations, like CO, CO2 and ozone
  4. Detailed information on Arctic clouds parameters, like size distribution and particle shape as well as ice and liquid water content
  5. Detailed Information on Sea ice and snow thickness profiles and ice surface digital, elevation models (DEMs) in the central Arctic
Science / project summary

The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) is an international initiative with the aim to improve numerical model representations of Arctic sea ice, weather, climate, biogeochemical- ecosystem processes through coupled system of observations and modeling studies that link the central Arctic atmosphere, sea ice, ocean, bio-geochemistry and ecosystem. This include also and the cross cutting activity airborne. One of the major aim of the airborne operation during MOSAIC is to delivery complementary measurements for the year-round ground-based measurements of the observatory atmosphere, sea ice and biogeochemical and extend the vertical and geographical coverage. AWI aircraft Polar 5 and Polar 6 are Canadian Basler BT–67 (call sign C–GAWI and C-GHGF) and will operate within a range of approximately 600 nautical miles. Polar 5 will equipped with remote sensing systems, like Lidar, Sun photometer, Hyperspectral Camera, SMART albedometer and cloud radar systems as well as different meteorological sensors, including Noise Boom for turbulence measurements. In the focus of the atmospheric airborne operation in March/April and August/September 2020 are firstly measurements related to the atmospheric and Arctic boundary layer processes, like ocean-atmosphere interaction, clouds, radiation, and aerosols. Polar 6 will equipped with a sea ice thickness sensor EM-Bird, a Laser scanner and the snow thickness radar. In the center of interest for both sea ice campaigns are the temporal evaluation of the sea ice and snow thickness in the central Arctic.  In the time period from mid-March to mid-April an ice runway, nearby the RV Polarstern is planned for landing and airborne operation in the vicinity of the ice flow. The flights to the Polarstern are planned rather from Station Nord, Northeast Greenland (higher probability), with an overnight at Station before the flight will start to Polarstern. The flights depend strongly from the weather conditions on the way to Polarstern and at the ice flow as well as at Station Nord. The accurate flight planning is not possible before March 2020. The airborne activity in 2020 during MOSAiC is sepaerated in four campaigns, namely two atmsopheric campaigns and two sea ice campaigns. All campaigns will use Station Nord (Nordeast Greeland) as one of the operation basis, to carried out measurements from there.

  • MOSAiC-ACA-Winter (Polar 5): 12.03.- 09.04.2020
  • MOSAIC-IceBird-Winter (Polar 6): 16.04. – 14.05.2020
  • MOSAIC-IceBird-Summer (Polar 6): 04.08. – 01.09.2020
  • MOSAiC-ACA-Summer (Polar 5): 18.08. – 10.09.2020
Publications related to project

Publication are planned