Publication
Snodar: a new instrument to measure the height of the boundary layer on the Antarctic plateau

Bonner, Colin S. et al., 2008, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 7014, 70146I | View on ADS (2008SPIE.7014E..6IB) | Access via DOI

Abstract

The height of the atmospheric boundary layer on the Antarctic plateau is of particular importance to designers of optical telescopes for Antarctica. Snodar was developed at the University of New South Wales to measure the height of the atmospheric boundary layer at Dome A and Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Snodar, or Surface layer Non-Doppler Acoustic Radar, is a true monostatic high-frequency acoustic radar (SODAR) operating between 5 kHz and 15 kHz. As the height of the boundary layer at Dome C is expected to be less then 30 m, and unknown at Dome A, Snodar was designed to have a minimum sampling height of 5 m with a vertical resolution of 1 m or better. Snodar uses a PC/104 computer to perform signal processing in real time, and a USB sound card for low-latency analog IO. Snodar was designed to run autonomously storing data on USB flash disks for retrieval the following summer, while uploading of data acquisition scripts and spot checking of data is possible via Iridium satellite through UNSW's PLATO facility. Snodar also incorporates a unique in-situ calibration sphere. We present details of the design and results from testing of Snodar.

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