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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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Monday: July 18, 2005

The camp seemed to have extra energy today as our team and the rest of the workers gathered in the Big House for breakfast. Although the PRISM team and other science teams worked most of the day yesterday, the rest of the camp took the day off, and this showed in their energy. The weather has continued to be perfect for us, with the wind chill temperature of 12.7 Fahrenheit (-10.7 Celsius). This morning and afternoon, the camp mechanics performed preventative maintenance on the Tucker SnoCat and gave the treads a full overhaul. It should operate well for us now, but there is always that concern of a breakdown far from camp. We were given access to it around 5 p.m. today. During the morning John and Torry tested the coupling between the antennas and found that the current configuration is excellent. In the afternoon, they assembled the structure to hold the instrument cables connecting the antennas on the sleds with the radar inside the Tucker SnoCat. Once the Tucker arrived, assembling the apparatus to connect the instrument cables to the Tucker began. The accumulation radar antennas were also mounted off to the side of the Tucker on wooden supports. Calibration of the accumulation radar was complete before the team went for dinner, and the evening plans are to connect and calibrate the SAR radar. Tim is working on a way to collect tilt information of the plane-wave sled as we operate the sled over the snow surface. Pannir worked part of the day on processing the plane-wave data collected yesterday. We are very happy with the internal snow layers we can see, and we will be digging snow pits to verify that the radar echoes we see are due to snow layers of different density that help us to understand the snow accumulation history on the ice sheet. Overall, it was a very productive day.

We also had to fit in �House Mouse� duties of washing dishes, house cleaning, hauling trash, and performing whatever duties the cooks request. This is a major time commitment for the team, with several team members working during the meals, and at least one team member in the Big House throughout the day. During our stay here, our team has to do this for two days. Our next scheduled �House Mouse� assignment is this coming Saturday.

Our meals today were outstanding as usual, with scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, a spinach frittata, tofu saut�, and rice for lunch, and sweet and sour pork, teriyaki chicken, baked tofu, rice, salad, and a Bundt cake for dinner.

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

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