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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

   
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  Sunday, July 24, 2005

Today we got a late start, as team members are becoming worn down and more tired from long days and no days off. Many of us are beginning to sleep later into the morning, but we are also working later into the night. Last night, Torry and John returned from their SAR and accumulation radar survey to GRIP. Guna and Pannir worked to perform final calibrations on the accumulation radar, and then the entire team helped to disconnect and remove everything from the Tucker. It was nearly 11 p.m. when this was complete. This morning, David, Pannir, and Tim did another run with the plane-wave radar along the ATM snow accumulation line. We now have a complete plane-wave survey that coincides with 61 locations where snow accumulation is measured once per month throughout the year over a 3-km by 1-km area. After this was complete, we took the plane-wave sled to a previously surveyed location about 6.5 km from summit camp. Here, more measurements were made, and then the location was marked with 2 red flags on bamboo poles to indicate where the snow pit will be dug. When these measurements were complete, we returned to camp, calibrations and tests were conducted, and disassembly of the sled started. Since the plane-wave radar data acquisition system is needed for the bistatic SAR measurements, the instrumentation was removed from the plane-wave sled first.

John began processing some of the radar collected between Summit and GRIP, and the results look outstanding. When we return to Kansas, much more sophisticated data processing will be performed, but with the limited data processing we can do here, the results are exciting. The radar is imaging deep internal layers all the way through the 3 km of ice.

For lunch we were on our own again, as the cooks have Sundays off, and so we rummage thru the refrigerators and help ourselves to leftovers that can be warmed up in the microwave ovens. We began dismantling the SAR radar sleds this afternoon. We first removed the antennas, then began disassembling the sleds. In the mid-afternoon, David, Kirby and Guna went by snowmobile and Nansen sled out to the location marked in the morning, and dug a snow pit. After we recorded the depth of the visible layers in the seven-foot-deep snow pit, snow samples were collected to measure density, and then the temperature profile throughout the depth of the snow pit was measured. After this was complete, the snow pit was filled back in.

At 8 pm, after our “help yourself to leftovers” dinner, we were treated to a presentation by one of the scientists at the camp, Xavier Fain, about his research in the Arctic. There were about 20 people in attendance, and he talked about his work with mercury in the environment. His work examines the transition of mercury in the air to mercury in the snow.

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

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