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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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  Sunday, July 17, 2005

Today we got a later start, with some of us sleeping until about 8:30 am. Last night was a camp social night, with people playing board games, or sitting around telling stories late into the evening. We started working around 9:30. The virtual dashboard system with the Iridium communications link was set up and tested, and final outdoor tests of the plane-wave radar sled were conducted. John tested the GPS this morning by driving around camp with Toby the station manager on a Bear Cat snowmobile, with the GPS sending data back to the computers in the WeatherPort.

On Sundays the cooks have the day off, so we�re on our own for meals and are expected to clean up after ourselves. There is a fridge full of leftovers to choose from and lots of snacks around the Big House. No one goes hungry. We�ll get the Tucker today, allowing us to assemble the pulling cables that will attach the sleds to the Tucker. The Tucker is being used today to groom the ski-way and will then have to be greased.

One of the other teams here is from Wisconsin. They are a team of 4 working on drilling. They are also testing their equipment here so that they can later use it in Antarctica. Their goals are to increase the quality and depth of ice cores. This week they are drilling a 100-m -deep ice core for Eric Steig, who is here from the University of Washington.

Tim, Pannir and David had a very successful first trial sampling run using the new plane-wave radar and sled. This radar images internal layers in the snow that result from the continuous accumulation of snow, blowing snow, and the changes in the seasons on the ice sheet. The plane-wave sled was pulled by a snowmobile about a kilometer from camp before sampling was started. The area sampled passed a �bamboo forest� consisting of 100 bamboo poles that are used to manually measure snow accumulation every few weeks. The survey was about 1 km long in a direction away from camp, and then the plane-wave sled was turned around and the same line was sampled again.

The Tucker was finally turned over to us at 6:00 p.m. We assembled all of the cables that connect the sleds to the Tucker, and tomorrow we�ll connect the instrument cables to the antennas and calibrate the systems. We are planning to run the Tucker every day through Friday, collecting data. Then on Saturday we�ll need to remove the equipment and return the Tucker so that the ski-way can be prepared for the flights that will start coming in next week. Right now we are a little behind schedule because of the weather, but if the weather continues to stay nice, we should be back on schedule later this week.

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

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