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Antarctic atmospheric boundary layer observations with the Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO)


Cassano, JJ and Nigro, MA and Seefeldt, MW and Katurji, M and Guinn, K and Williams, GD and DuVivier, A, Antarctic atmospheric boundary layer observations with the Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO), Earth System Science Data, 13, (3) pp. 969-982. ISSN 1866-3508 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2021 Author(s). This work is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (

DOI: doi:10.5194/essd-13-969-2021


Between January 2012 and June 2017 a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS), known as the Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO), was used to observe the state of the atmospheric boundary layer in the Antarctic. During six Antarctic field campaigns, 116 SUMO flights were completed. These flights took place during all seasons over both permanent ice and ice-free locations on the Antarctic continent and over sea ice in the western Ross Sea. Sampling was completed during spiral ascent and descent flight paths that observed the temperature, humidity, pressure and wind up to 1000 m above ground level and sampled the entire depth of the atmospheric boundary layer, as well as portions of the free atmosphere above the boundary layer. A wide variety of boundary layer states were observed, including very shallow, strongly stable conditions during the Antarctic winter and deep, convective conditions over ice-free locations in the summer. The Antarctic atmospheric boundary layer data collected by the SUMO sUAS, described in this paper, can be retrieved from the United States Antarctic Program Data Center (, last access: 8 March 2021). The data for all flights conducted on the continent are available at (Cassano, 2017), and data from the Ross Sea flights are available at (Cassano, 2019).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:SUMO, atmospheric boundary layer, Antarctica
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Maritime engineering
Research Field:Special vehicles
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Atmospheric processes and dynamics
UTAS Author:Williams, GD (Mr Guy Williams)
ID Code:151894
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2022-08-08
Last Modified:2022-09-29

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