Mesoscale model such as Meso-Nh have proven to be highly reliable in reproducing 3D maps of optical turbulence (see Refs. 1, 2, 3, 4) above mid-latitude astronomical sites. These last years ground-based astronomy has been looking towards Antarctica. Especially its summits and the Internal Continental Plateau where the optical turbulence appears to be confined in a shallow layer close to the icy surface. Preliminary measurements have so far indicated pretty good value for the seeing above 30-35 m: 0.36" (see Ref. 5) and 0.27" (see Refs. 6, 7) at Dome C. Site testing campaigns are however extremely expensive, instruments provide only local measurements and atmospheric modelling might represent a step ahead towards the search and selection of astronomical sites thanks to the possibility to reconstruct 3D C2N maps over a surface of several kilometers. The Antarctic Plateau represents therefore an important benchmark test to evaluate the possibility to discriminate sites on the same plateau. Our group8 has proven that the analyses from the ECMWF global model do not describe with the required accuracy the antarctic boundary and surface layer in the plateau. A better description could be obtained with a mesoscale meteorological model. In this contribution we present the progress status report of numerical simulations (including the optical turbulence - C2N) obtained with Meso-Nh above the internal Antarctic Plateau. Among the topic attacked: the influence of different configurations of the model (low and high horizontal resolution), use of the grid-nesting interactive technique, forecasting of the optical turbulence during some winter nights.
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II
- Pub Date:
- July 2008
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics
- 12 pages, 4 figures, SPIE 2008 conference