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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

Curved ice line
Jagged line
Jagged line
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Day 29 - June 3 2006

Today started out well, with lovely weather once again, but our fortunes went downhill from there. We mapped 6 1/2 lines before our accumulation radar computer screen suddenly locked up and we could no longer access the mapping software. It appeared that we had inadvertently filled the entire disk with data and the computer could no longer handle it. We drove back to camp for an early lunch and made a few more tries at bringing the computer back online, but to no avail. After a consultation with Torry Akins, our expert back at the University of Kansas, over the Iridium satellite phone system failed to fix the problem, we hooked the radar computer up to the Iridium Internet system via ethernet cable so Torry could take a direct look. He was able to hack in, remotely delete some old files to clear up some disk space, and restart the PC. Unfortunately, in the process, Torry also discovered that no GPS files had been written. The GPS files are basically tagged to the radar data and record our position along each track so that an accurate map of the internal layers can be pieced together. This meant that our work for the day was basically a total loss. In retrospect, it was fortuitous that the computer crashed. Otherwise we might have worked the entire day collecting useless data. In this case we discovered that a carriage return had somehow split a filename in two without either of us noticing, and the data was not being written anywhere. We had learned a valuable lesson, namely, that we needed to be more careful in the future to make absolutely sure that files were being written both before we left camp and while we were in the field mapping.

Sverrir making coffee for breakfast

Breakfast at the internet caf� (left to right: Steffan, Simon, Andreas and Sverrir)

Lars proudly displays his leg of lamb roast for Saturday night dinner. Andreas looks on with approval.

A man of many hats! Bruce displays one of his hats that he brought along on the trip during merriment at Saturday night dinner.


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