Pegasus Airfield Repair and Protection: Laboratory Trials of White Ice Paint to Improve the Energy Reflectance Properties of the Glacial-Ice Runway Surface
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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The U.S. Antarctic Program at the National Science Foundation NSF Division of Polar PLR is currently in the planning stages of a logistics support project to reestablish an all-season wheeled airfield to service McMurdo Station. In the interim, NSF-PLR is also investigating remedial and triage-type remedies to keep the existing Pegasus White Ice Runway viable for as long as possible with hopes of reducing the annual closure period at the height of summer warmth. This project conducted laboratory-scale concept tests of applying white ice paint, as used in skating arenas, to improve glacial-ice solar-energy reflectance properties in areas previously compromised by melt and refreeze. We prepared samples for expedient spectroradiometer tests at our laboratory. The results of our tests indicate that there is no difference in reflectance response between 3 in. and 5 in. of snow cover over glacial ice whether the ice surface is painted or not. However, our results also indicate that the white paint on bare ice performs extremely well over the entire spectrum of visible through medium infrared incoming energy, averaging almost 90 reflectance. The bare fresh ice peaked at only 50 reflectance in the visible spectrum and rapidly dropped-off to almost 0 in the near and medium-infrared spectra.
- Terminal Flight Facilities
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost
- Coatings, Colorants and Finishes