NSF UV Monitoring Network: South Pole Station
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Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica

Latitude: 90°00' S
Elevation: 2841 m
Date Installed: February 1988
Normal Season: September - March
Instrumentation:     SUV-100, GUV-541, PSP, TUVR

South Pole StationThe South Pole system is installed at the top of the Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO, see photo) at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, located at the geographic South Pole. The South Pole is accessible by airplane between November and February only. The system operates in one of the harshest environments on Earth with average temperatures of -49°C.

South Pole is a very interesting place for UV measurements due to the annually recurring "ozone hole", stable meteorological conditions, frequent cloud-less days, constant high surface albedo, little aerosol influence, negligible air pollution, and virtually no diurnal change of SZA. In addition, important parameters for interpreting the measurements, such as total column ozone and the atmospheric ozone profile, are available from measurements of NOAA’s Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory installations at ARO.

SUV-100 on top of the ARO The system was originally installed at South Pole's Clean Air Facility (CAF). Prior to 1991, the instrument could only be accessed from the outside. In January 1991, the instrument was relocated to an enclosure on top of CAF allowing access from within the laboratory. In January 1997, the system was again relocated to a specially constructed "penthouse" room in the ARO. The photo shows the top of the instrument at ARO with the main South Pole station in the background.

The instrument is operated by research associates from Raytheon Polar Services under contract to NSF. Data download is performed via the Internet and limited only by satellite availability.

Solar Angles (Angles above the Horizon) at South Pole

Obstructions in the SUV's Field-of-View
(Bearing relative to grid North, elevation)

  1. Open frame radio tower (334.00° to 335.30°, 7.83°)
  2. Galvanized steel wrapped exhaust stack (87.61° to 89.60°, 15.26°)
  3. Galvanized steel wrapped exhaust stack (91.56° to 93.56°, 17.21°)
  4. Open frame radio tower (181.89°, 1.94°)
  5. Open frame radio tower with "T" shape construction at top, having a horizontal angular width of 2.25° (198.31° to 199.60°, 1.39°)

Instrument Performance
Prior to the facility upgrade in 1991, the instrument was only successfully operated on an occasional basis.

For More Information
For other South Pole UV radiation, stratospheric ozone, and atmospheric trace gas information, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL):

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