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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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  Thursday, January 5, 2006

Dawned clear and seemed warm because the winds were almost nonexistent. It was a pretty nice day all day. Around -13 C (8 F degrees) with relatively clear skies and 1-5 knot winds at 11:00 this morning according to our handheld weather instrument.

Preprocessing of depth sounder radar data brought in last night shows that we have been able to image some layers that have never been seen before across a wide area. After further processing we expect these layers to be even more clear and of value to the glaciology community. The depth sounder radar team (Abdul, Pannir, and Claude) went out again today to do two lines. It is estimated that this will take about 12 hours and that they will collect about 20 gigabytes of data per hour. There is no doubt that a lot of data is being collected by this group.

Joel and David went out around 9:00 a.m. with the Plane Wave radar and traveled out to one snow pit that has not been excavated and two others we have excavated and sampled. They operated the radar continuously, but stopped at the snow pits to acquire data that will enhance those from the samples we have already taken or plan to take from these pits. They had good weather and good traveling, but the antenna sled has some vibration that needs to be attenuated in order to get the best results.

Jerome and Jennifer traveled out to the small ice core drill site operated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They talked with the drillers and got video of the entire operation. Upon return, the information gained was written up and e-mailed to teachers. Photos of the major steps of the process were sent to KU to be put in the photo gallery at Virtual PRISM. Time was also spent refining the video conferencing system we hope to use with some Kansas and Ohio teachers next week. We were able to take a short video tour of the WAIS camp and have it show up in Kansas in fairly clear form with a 5- to 6-second delay. We were quite pleased with Jason Wikersham�s php conferencing software that we have kindly been allowed to use for this purpose.

Prasad made a 30-minute presentation on Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets to support personnel and scientists here at WAIS. His lecture was well attended and many cogent questions were asked by the participants. A lively discussion ensued.

Hate to harp on the food, but for dinner this evening we had New York steaks grilled on the gas barbeque with mashed potatoes and green beans. We beefeaters from Kansas and North Carolina were in heaven with this meal. We certainly are not going hungry out here.

It was a very pleasant day overall and we are making good progress. Looks like the plane is coming in around 11:00 pm and that Eric will get to McMurdo and might be able to leave there the next day. He is definitely looking forward to getting home after 4 weeks working in Antarctica. Although it is a great experience, to quote a famous movie based in Kansas, �There�s no place like home.�

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

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