Atmospheric Observation Instruments at Syowa Station

Atmospheric Observation Systems at Syowa Station

The Syowa Station is an important platform for observing the Earth's environment and detecting climate change signals seen in the Antarctic atmosphere. One advantage of the Syowa Station is its strong array of preinstalled observational tools measuring many different aspects of the atmosphere. Simultaneous observation by the PANSY radar as well as these instruments promises to power significant progress in the polar middle atmosphere sciences.

Balloon observations

Measurement of temperature, winds, humidity and ozone in the troposphere and stratosphere

Radiosonde measurements of vertical profiles of the atmosphere from the surface to a height of about 30km are made using rubber balloons from Syowa Station twice daily (once or twice a week for ozone). The data are distributed to meteorological offices throughout the world and used for atmospheric studies. Large scientific balloons are occasionally launched for a variety of purposes, such as stratospheric air sampling and/or ozone measurement up to a higher altitude of 40km.

MF radar

Measurement of winds in the 60-120km height region

MF radars detect the movement of weakly ionized air as wind in the mesosphere. The MF radar at Syowa Station, which started observation in 1999, can also detect echoes from meteor trails, from which winds can be estimated up to about 120 km altitude.

Airglow measurement

Study of atmospheric waves

The atmosphere at a height of 80-100km and around 250km emits a dim light called airglow, through a process of photoionization and photodissociation by solar radiation. The strength of airglow depends on temperature and density modulated by atmospheric waves. The wave pattern is detected by a CCD camera fitted with an all-sky lens. A spectroscopic measurement of OH airglow provides temperature information in the mesopause region.

Millimeter-wave spectroscopic radiometer

Continuous monitoring of minor constituents in the stratosphere and mesosphere

Vertical distributions of minor constituents such as HOx, NOx, CO and ozone are continuously monitored together with the influence of energetic particle precipitation on them.