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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

   
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  Saturday, July 23, 2005

It is cloudy and snowy here today, so we're not going out to dig our last snow pit until the weather improves a little. David and Guna took about 20 red flags on bamboo poles and laid out a 3-km straight line across the snow for the SAR radar measurements (and retrieved the flags once the measurements were complete). For this experiment (called InSAR) the Tucker must be driven in a very straight line. Without references on the snow surface, this is very difficult to do. With the line of flags, it is possible to keep the Tucker and sleds on a straight course. After making these measurements in the morning, Torry and John headed out for one last roundtrip of SAR radar and accumulation radar measurements between Summit and GRIP. When they return tonight, we will remove all of our equipment from the Tucker, and return it to the mechanical equipment operators. It will be parked indoors over night to allow the snow and ice to melt, and in the morning, the mechanics will service it. They will then begin ski-way grooming for the flights coming in this week.

Pannir spent much of the day processing accumulation radar data and plane-wave data, and Tim worked on software to collect the data coming from the tilt meter as the plane-wave moves over the snow surface. David assembled the snow accumulation data from the “bamboo forest” accumulation area and the ATM snow accumulation lines. Then he collected the GPS locations of the snow accumulation poles along the ATM snow accumulation line so we can attempt to date the internal snow layers we see in the plane-wave radar data.

Today we had the clean-up duties in the Big House (house mouse) again. This is our last time, and all team members helped. However, with all the construction activity related to lifting the Big House, there was limited traffic through the house and our responsibilities have not been as extensive as normal. Today the workers lifting the house welded the 25-foot extensions to the existing stilts. By the end of the day, they had all four on the north side of the building attached.

Lunch consisted of tomato soup and cold cuts for sandwiches, once again on paper plates. However, this time, it was more of a safety issue to get everyone in and out of the Big House quickly because of the large steel stilts being moved around. The goal was to keep people out of the house as much as possible, due to the possibility and danger of a 25-foot stilt swinging through the air if something were to go wrong. We had a barbeque for dinner in which steaks, a musk oxen leg, chicken and veggie burgers were cooked on an outdoor grill. Also served were twice-baked potatoes and salad. The highlight of the meal was the musk oxen meat. This was given to one of the VECO managers – “Sparky” (Mark) – by Greenlandic friends in Kangerlussuaq and taken to Summit. The meat had a very distinct taste and was very tender. Musk oxen are wild animals that roam the coastal tundra of Greenland. People apply permits to hunt them during a limited season in the fall. After the barbeque, some of the people in camp played volleyball and horseshoes outside.

NOTE: This was entire journal entry, not just page 1.

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