An open-source albedo-wand for the measurement of sea ice albedo


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Christian.Katlein [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Surface albedo is defined as the ratio of incident and reflected solar irradiance and describes the ability of a surface to reflect, rather than absorb incident solar shortwave radiation. It is thus a crucial parameter in the climate system, particularly in the polar oceans. Sea ice albedo is a main driver for light transmission into the polar oceans and thus has a high impact on ocean warming, ice melting and marine primary production. During spring and summer, sea ice albedo can exhibit a significant spatial variability caused by meltwater accumulations on the ice. While complex and expensive solutions for albedo measurements are already available, we want to present a simple open-source design that allows for affordable mapping of spatially varying surface albedo on sea ice and beyond. Our solution is based on off-the-shelf components, such as an Arduino microcontroller integrating affordable light sensors, a GPS unit, data recording on memory card and data display into a simple field strengthened unit. We provide example data from two Arctic field deployments showing the capabilities and limitations of this system.



Item Type
Article
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Peer revision
Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
49764
DOI 10.13679/j.advps.2019.0002

Cite as
Katlein, C. (2019): An open-source albedo-wand for the measurement of sea ice albedo , Advances in Polar Science, 30 (2), pp. 106-117 . doi: 10.13679/j.advps.2019.0002


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