Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements
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Saturday July 16, 2005
This morning we got up and had breakfast, but were a little hesitant to get start work because the LC-130 crew were sleeping in the WeatherPort, as the plane could not take off last night. By 9:00 a.m. they were all up and getting ready to fly out of Summit. We started work as soon as the crew left. The weather looked great, the sun was out, and there were a few interesting puffy clouds in the sky. The temperature this morning was lower than it had been over the last few days, but with lighter winds.
The first order of business for the day was to finish the SAR antenna sleds and to mount the SAR radar antennas. By lunch the sleds were complete, and we had moved them to a flatter location so the antennas could be properly mounted. John and Tim, who were working inside on the instrumentation, were making great progress also. Tim is finishing up the stabilization system for the plane-wave radar, while John has almost completed all of the SAR radar tests that need to be conducted indoors. The temperature by noon with wind chill was up to -2 degrees Fahrenheit (-19.1 Celsius), with the winds at about 9 miles per hour (8 knots). Lunch consisted of leftovers from the previous meals, but was still quite satisfying.
During lunch, some of us talked with some of the VECO construction workers that are here from Anchorage, Alaska. VECO is the company that handles Arctic logistics for the National Science Foundation. The workers� task here is to lift the Big House. The house was built with jacks so that it can be lifted as the snow accumulates. However, the metal stilts that the house is resting on are at their maximum extension right now, so the Anchorage team is going to extend the stilts. This will raise the house so it is above the surrounding snow surface.
During lunch our team discussed a plan for conducting the SAR radar surveys once we get the Tucker SnoCat. We are considering running two 8-hour shifts per day, alternating driver teams. One team would be Pannir and Torry, while the other would be David and John. Before we start the 80-kilometer roundtrip runs, we will conduct some short diagnostic surveys close to camp.
We also discussed the strange winds experienced throughout the day; the wind had completely shifted and was coming from almost the opposite direction. It was similar to the passing of the eye of a hurricane, but with lower wind speeds. We had strong winds from the Southeast that began to let up for a short while; the winds then began to increase again from the Northwest. After lunch, Tim finished the plane radar sled.
Since it was Saturday, we had the traditional pizza dinner, with a wide variety of toppings. The pizzas were made from scratch by the cooks. The ice cream machine was also going frequently during the evening, making different flavors. The liquid nitrogen generator is going to be taken apart next Thursday, so they are stocking up while there was still a supply of liquid nitrogen. Each team is assigned one or more days doing dishes, pots and pans, and cleaning throughout the big house, and our first assigned day is Monday. This is called �house mouse�. Everyone on the team pitches in as best they can, but we do our best not to impact our experiment schedule.
NOTE: This was entire journal entry, not just page 1.
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