More than three months LACROS has operated more or less unattended in the far south of Chile. In beginning of July, the mid-campaign-maintenance-team arrived. A couple of tasks was rather straightforward and could be done rather quickly, weather permitting. The 95 GHz cloud radar LIMRAD was outfitted with a pair of new radomes (covers that protect the antenna from the environment, but are transparent to radiation with wavelengths of a couple of millimeters) and the microwave radiometer HATPRO was re-calibrated.
Others required some more fiddling. Measuring the pulse shape of the 35 GHz cloud radar MIRA required an oscilloscope and some disassembly of the scanner on the container roof. Nevertheless, the effort was justified. The pulses are still as fine as they were years ago. The other issue, strange effects in one of the PollyXT lidar channels could be narrowed down, but not be fully resolved yet. Some more equipment for alignment checks needs to be brought to Punta Arenas.
Winter weather down here is quite variable: rain, snow, sunshine, mid-level clouds, wind and calms everything at quite a rapid pace. More common than during summer time are cyclone centers passing through to the north. At times, these easterly winds likely intensify precipitation by orographic effects.
For the next two and a half months, again a couple of researchers from Leipzig will take care of LACROS onsite at Punta Arenas.