Stratéole/Vorcore—Long-duration, Superpressure Balloons to Study the Antarctic Lower Stratosphere during the 2005 Winter
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
In September and October 2005, the Stratéole/Vorcore campaign flew 27 superpressure balloons from McMurdo, Antarctica, into the stratospheric polar vortex. Long-duration flights were successfully achieved, 16 of those flights lasting for more than 2 months. Most flights were terminated because they flew out of the authorized flight domain or because of energy shortage in the gondola. The atmospheric pressure (1-Pa precision) was measured every minute during the flights, whereas air temperature
... bservations (0.25-K accuracy) and balloon positions (absolute GPS observations, 10-m accuracy) were obtained every 15 min. Fifteen-minute-averaged horizontal velocities of the wind were deduced from the successive balloon positions with a corresponding accuracy Շ0.1 m s Ϫ1 . The collected dataset (more than 150 000 independent observations) provides a thorough high-resolution sampling of the polar lower stratosphere in the Southern Hemisphere from its wintertime state up to the establishment of the summer circulation in December-January. Most of the balloons stayed inside the vortex until its final breakdown, although a few were ejected toward the midlatitudes in November during filamention events associated with an increase in planetary wave activity. The balloons behaved as quasi-Lagrangian tracers during the first part of the campaign (quiescent vortex) and after the vortex breakdown in early December. Large-amplitude mountain gravity waves were detected over the Antarctic Peninsula and caused one flight termination associated with the sudden burst in the balloon superpressure.