My Work in Antarctica

My primary goals at the South Pole are to install several instruments to monitor air pollution. The National Science Foundation is sponsoring this project, because they are very interested in understanding the level of pollutants coming from the South Pole station. They are interested in this for several reasons: the maintenance of the pristine Antarctic environment, the health of the people working there, and compliance with international agreements which strictly limit the level of pollution there.

The pollution monitor which I manufacture is called The Aethalometer. It is designed to do real-time measurement of aerosol black carbon ('BC' or 'EC'). The Aethalometer is an instrument that measures a pollutant species of suspended carbonaceous particulates. Aerosol Black Carbon ("BC", or "EC" for Elemental Carbon) is a ubiquitous component of combustion emissions. It is most obvious in diesel exhaust, but it is emitted from all combustion sources together with other species such as toxic and carcinogenic organic compounds. If you'd like to read a little more about this instrument, please see the Web page of my company, Magee Scientific.

This is the Clean Air buuilding, where my first instrument is installed, and me inside the Clean Air building beside the installed Aethalometer.

This is the Balloon Launch building. This is where my second instrument is installed - the pictures show the air inlet. The Balloon Launch building is the down-wind location, to pick up the smoke emissions from Station operations.


If you'd would like to read reports about my work at Pole, please see these Web pages:

  • Day Three: The Equipment Finally Arrives
  • Day Five: Sticking my Head in a Chimney
  • Day Six: More Exhaust

  • Back to Tony's Antarctica Interactive Trip

    Prepared by Tony Hansen and Tod Flak; last updated 06 Feb 1997