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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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  Saturday, January 7, 2006

Today when we woke there was a light snow cover over everything. It had snowed lightly most of the night. The plane made it in around 5:30 a.m. and Eric was able to depart for McMurdo.

Team members fueled up the Pisten Bully for its long trek today. Our filling station is a number of barrels in a spill protector (so we protect the environment) and a hand pump. The Pisten Bully takes 125 gallons. That is a lot of pumping. Then we also pump gas for the generator. Claude, Pannir and Abdul went out abut 11:00 a.m. with the depth sounder and accumulation radar to cover two more lines of the grid. The data from yesterday were preprocessed and show a strong return.

David, Joel and Jerome went out around 2:00 after calibrating the plane wave radar with Prasad. The conditions on the way home were quite disorienting with the horizon and the ground blending together. Joel said it was like being in a very slow plane in a grey cloud bank. The only way they knew which way to go was the GPS (Global Positioning System). There was no way to navigate visually. They got back around 5 after doing a 15 km line.

Jennifer wrote to some teachers and students in Florida, who noted that they were experiencing cold weather. They said their temperatures were around 30 F. Ours were about 19 F today with a 5-6 knot wind at 11:00. Tonight the wind has increased and we can hear it flapping the canvas on our tent. Jennifer also completed writing the short biography of our head chef, Flora, and worked on getting a backlog of photos ready for e-mailing and presentations. She also made a CD of photos taken of the ice coring two days ago and took the ice core team a copy. While at the ice coring site, she got to view a much deeper ice core. This one was quite icy-looking compared to the snow-packed look of the ones that were being drilled through the firn two days ago. No clear layers in the ice core were visible to the naked eye from a distance.

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

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