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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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  Friday, December 30, 2005

After a short night of rest, we began the day at 7:00 a.m. with a wonderful breakfast of egg strata and fruit oatmeal. Then we had "house mouse" duties that consisted of washing the breakfast dishes, filling the galley snow melter with 55 gallons of snow, filling the coffee and water machines, and cleaning the tables and floors of the galley. We have this duty every three days or so. It was done in less than a half hour with all of us pitching in. Then Prasad and David held a briefing of what was to be done today.

Most of the team began with 2 hours of a refresher course on driving the Pisten Bully. This machine will be used to carry the SAR and accumulation radar antennas, since it has a heated cabin that should overcome the difficulties that we had with the radar behaving erratically in the cold. Once that was done, the SAR sled was attached to the Pisten Bully and the cables run to the computers. Once this was done, the GPS system was hooked up. This took several hours to complete. Then the radar team calibrated the plane wave radar and took a short test run. The data showed that the calibration needed to be more exact, but some fairly good data were taken. The team then readjusted the calibration.

While that was happening, the rover team did a couple of tests of driving the rover autonomously with the gyro on and with the gyro off. They were trying to determine how the vehicle would perform if the gyro should go out permanently. Lastly, the team worked into the evening hours connecting the accumulation radar antennas to the Pisten Bully. We were not done yet as there are predictions of high winds and snow tomorrow, so we have to secure and cover everything. Lots of hard work and progress.

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

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