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Reference : UMR8539-CHRGEN-003
Workplace : PALAISEAU
Date of publication : Thursday, April 01, 2021
Type of Contract : FTC Technical / Administrative
Contract Period : 24 months
Expected date of employment : 1 September 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : ~24000 to ~28000€ annual net depending on experience
Desired level of education : Engineer
Experience required : 1 to 4 years
AWACA (Atmospheric Water Cycle over Antarctica: Past, Present and Future) is a new ERC-funded project to better observe, understand and model atmospheric water interacting with the snow surface in Antarctica. The goal is to improve our confidence in predictions of future changes and impact on global sea level.
Much work remains to be done to improve the models currently used to predict climate change and its signatures and impacts in different regions of the world. In Antarctica, global warming is expected to increase moisture transport through atmospheric circulation from ocean sources to the interior of the continent, and ultimately precipitation and accumulation at the surface of the ice cap. However, we are still missing keys to study of the impact of climate change in Antarctica with confidence. First, we lack relevant data to verify and improve the models. This is because Antarctica is remote, difficult to access and difficult to work in due to extreme weather and climate conditions. These extreme conditions are the very reasons why our current model formulations, developed and validated for other regions, cannot be expected to apply well to Antarctica. The current formulations simply do not account for certain phenomena that are critical for Antarctica such as blowing snow in katabatic wind regimes, which is not a common phenomenon in other regions of the world.
The project involves the development and deployment of automated observation systems including 3 autonomous platforms along an 1100 km transect from the coast of Adelie Land to the Antarctic high plateau. These platforms will host and ensure the proper operation in full autonomy of a battery of instruments measuring water in the atmosphere and its exchange with the surface. Near the surface, traditional wind, temperature and humidity as well as turbulence and blowing snow sensors will be used to obtain data to develop better concepts and formulations in atmospheric models, and thus model and predict with more confidence the various components of moisture exchange between the atmosphere and ice sheet.
For 2 years starting in September 2021, in collaboration with experts in the scientific questions being addressed, including the AWACA project leaders, the engineer will contribute to:
- Establish the specifications of the necessary instrumentation, with a vision of the parameters to be measured in order to establish the concepts and develop the physical parameterizations and the improvement of the models
- Evaluate instruments available on the market to meet the requirements
- Contribute to the specifications of the structures hosting these instruments in Antarctica, which technological design and realization, then deployment on the field, are entrusted to the French Polar Institute IPEV
- Select, test and adapt market instruments for the targeted objective. Some tests will be carried out on instrumented sites in the Paris region and on high altitude sites in the Alps.
- Ensure that the development of the hosting structures prepared by the IPEV respect the specifications and offer proper conditions to host these instruments. Ensure in particular that the operating conditions in the structures (temperature, energy and energy arbitration priorities, communication, etc.) will be respected and will allow proper operation of the instruments, dataloggers, communication and security systems. Ensure the proper integration of the instruments.
- Organize tests of the final concept in temperate and possibly alpine conditions before expedition to Antarctica.
- At each stage, accompany a PhD student during the first years of the thesis, who will be associated with the instrumental approaches, contribute to the field deployment, and in parallel will engage in the development of parameterizations and implementation of blowing snow in climate models.
Given the range of activities, this proposal is for an enthusiastic, flexible and resourceful engineer. Training and/or experience in the following areas is recommended:
- Meteorology, turbulence, principles and formulation / parameterization, modeling
- Meterology instrumentation and observation techniques in the natural environment
- Electrical engineering, instrument deployment techniques, power management, data flow, preprocessing and security
The LMD is a multisite laboratory, the description of which can be found on its homepage: https://www.lmd.jussieu.fr/. The work will take place at the Sorbonne Pierre et Marie Curie University Paris and Ecole Polytechnique Palaiseau sites, within the EMC3 team https://emc3.lmd.jussieu.fr/fr?set_language=fr. in collaboration with the SIRTA team of IPSL https://sirta.ipsl.fr/. Instrumental test campaigns in the Alps and other sites are considered.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Constraints and risks
No particular risk or constrain
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