15 January, 1999

January 15th, 1999, South Pole Station

Hello to everybody from the Amundsen-Scott station.

The weather had cleared and the sun was shining. Today was our big ozone launch day. After I woke up, I went straight to BIF to help out in the lab. We flu two triple ozones that will help us to answer the question: ARE THERE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OZONE MODELS?

On Wednesday, I introduced to you the different ozone models. Here is a summery again


Two triple-ozonesonde will be tested (two replicates: total 6 ozonesondes)

1. the first set will contain the 1% KI buffered solution

2. the second set will contain the 2% KI, unbuffered solution

Each triple-ozone set will have the following model of ozonesondes: a) Old Model (4A) used since the 80'ties Features: - 6v motor pump

- Teflon electrochemical cells connected to gears (no electronical interface)

- Analog data is collected

b) New model ( 6A) , used since the 90'ties

Features: - 12v motor pump

- Teflon electrochemical cells

- electronical interface, digital data collects

c) New model (2Z) similar to above except different material (molded plastic instead of Teflon) for

electrochemical cells.

The flights went really well and we collected a lot of data, which we will have, to process to receive the row data files. We all were happy that all went well: that the balloon went up to 35 km and that the transmission of all data was successful. An experiment like this has never been done before - in parcticular two in the row. I am looking forward looking at some of the graphs. The monitoring of ozone data is very important in order to see if older data is actually valid. How could we otherwise make certain that our conclusions about ozone data is correct?!

Something very strange happened with the second flight. All went well with the data transmission and the balloon made it up to 38 km with the load like that. However, it did not burst. Usually, a flight like that -- including descending time usually lasts for 2-3 hors. The balloon floated around 38km still after 5 hours of flight time. We checked the temperature at that altitude and it was -9C. Can some one explain why the balloon would not burst at that height with that temperature?

We will never find out what happened with the balloon since we had to turn off the computer. We would have liked to have also the data while the balloon was descending, but… the solutions in the cell must have been evaporated because the last readings did not give as any ozone readings anymore. "Good by balloon I wish I could see you and follow you or at least see what you see!!. "

I am looking forward working on these files with Bryan and transmit them to schools. Remember to contact me if you are interested working on ozone data files.

Before dinner, we went to the ARO 'slushies' time: the tradition is to use the cleanest snow on earth to make drinks and café. It was a lot of fun. Mmmm. Fresh snow!! The question from yesterday was : when will the sun set at the South Pole? Around March 23rd when our springtime starts in the North. A lot of people will winter-over and are looking forward to see this event. By now it is 6a.m. I will try to sleep and mail this report off in a few hours. Question for tomorrow: when will the sun rise again at the South Pole?

The BIF with the doors open. The balloon is inflated and the ozonesonde is attachet

Andy and Bryan are carrying the balloon outside the BIF for launching.

The rope to the balloon is followed down to the sonde... almost ready to let go.

Bryan lets go of the triple ozonesonde and the balloon is launched.

Dave Hofmann following the ozone data on the computer

Contact the TEA in the field at .
If you cannot connect through your browser, copy the TEA's e-mail address in the "To:" line of your favorite e-mail package.