The Devil's Highway
The Zero Altitude PEARL Auxilary Laboratory (0PAL) is located North West Quadrant of the Eureka Weather station (just west of the tank farm). It was constructed here in order to measure the lower part of the atmosphere as the Ridge Lab is located at 610m above sea level.
The first phase of 0PAL was constructed by placing two customized seatainers 8 feet apart and enclosing that area with a breezeway. In addition to keeping the weather out of the seatainers, the breezeway houses the power distribution network for 0PAL and is also used as cold storage. The seatainers were purchased from and modified by Contor Inc. of Mississauga ON. To ensure that we minimize their impact on the permafrost, the area was scraped flat and styrofoam sheets were placed on the ground and then covered with fill. A stand constructed of 6×6 inch lumber was placed at either end raising the bottom of the seatainers about 18 inches above grade.
The seatainers themselves are insulated to about R21 and are equipped with electric heat, air intake vents, and a number (expandable) of power circuits. With the completion of the second phase of 0PAL construction, this complex now consists of four interlocking seatainers.
Instruments currently located at the 0PAL site include a Millimeter Wave Cloud Radar (MMCR), a Meteor Radar, the CANDAC Raman Lidar (CRL), a York University Tropospheric Ozone Lidar, a microwave radiometer and a Polar Atmospheric Emission Radiometer Spectrometer (P-AERI). A starphotometer, housed in a nearby dome, and a sunphotometer are also located at this site to measure aerosol optical thickness. In addition, the NOAA SEARCH program has a High Spectral Resolution Lidar operating at 0PAL.