Blogs from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Antarctica - page 4


Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 10th 2009

Today I was excited to get to work because everything was done or going smoothly and I did not have to fix anybody else's problems for once. I went to cargo to get the last instrument to install and was ready for a nice, productive, last day of hard work. But then I noticed that the electronic, data collecting box did not get shipped with the other stuff, four support poles for the riometer were not included, and I have to buy them at the lumber yard. Everything is closed on Sunday, too, so now I am waiting for Monday. I still went out to Willy field to tidy up and throw stuff away. Housekeeping stuff that had to be done anyway. That's it...... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 9th 2009

I slept in a bit today, but it does not really count on account of I stayed up really late waiting for my roommate to come back because I locked myself out -- something that happens pretty much daily. Breakfast was good (wholesome oatmeal, apple cinnamon) and was followed by a bunch of troubleshooting. I had the machine shop drill new holes in the allsky camera housing, went to Willy and found out the screws didn't fit because the holes were not as good as they looked, so I made the trip back, which takes 30-45 minutes depending on the roads, and longer if the Delta gets stuck, got the holes drilled and cut the screws that were too long, then went back out to Willy to finally make forward progress. Out there, Chris spliced some ... read more
Hey, Robot!
all sky camera
My room

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 8th 2009

Today was another long day. Early breakfast followed by sorting things out with people back home. The HF Antenna did not come with a preamp or a means of acquiring the data, and the solar panels were not working properly. Out at Willy I oriented and buried the magnetometer, which has to be aligned with the local magnetic field in order for the x and y axes to be meaningful (both are perpendicular to how the field line enters the earth). Chris and I also set up what we could of the HF Antenna, then started in on the allsky camera, but the camera dome and housing do not fit together, so we left and are waiting for people to wake up this morning back home. The plane that was supposed to have our riometer on ... read more
To Space

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 7th 2009

Get up early, eat breakfast, clear up further confusion regarding the heavy equipment usage, the head to work. I got the magnetometer placed today, got the batteries, solar panels, and wind generators hooked up. started working on the high frequency antenna and discovered it is a hodge podge of parts. Tonight we turned on the system so hopefully my boss can see it back in NH. Tomorrow: All-sky camera and HF antenna. The riometer gets flown in, but maybe too late to work on it. Hopefully I'll be done the next day.... read more
Looking back

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 6th 2009

Today I spent at Willy Field getting some work done. Our assembly is on the south side of Willimas Town on the Ross Ice Sheet (9 meters down is the ocean). The area where land transitions into ice (aptly named "the transition") usually has heaves of ice created by the moving sheet, sort of like how mountains are formed. Right now the road at the transition is very melted and the deltas and ivan the terra bus have a hard time getting through. They have reduced shuttles services to try and repair it. Calling fleet ops yesterday to level out the ice caused all sorts of confusion, which led to me having to call a bunch of people only to find out the person I have to talk to is out at Willy Field. The only ... read more
Willie Field
Willy Galley
Mt. Eremus

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 5th 2009

Today I had more training sessions. 8 a.m. brought me an awareness of the environment here, and taught me how to dispose of my urine. That was followed by a trip to the Berg Field Center (BFC) to get a space heaters for our enclosure to thaw the batteries and ice jugs and to prevent freezing and condesation on the all-sky camera lense that we will be installing. Then came a trip to the S S C to get a how to on generator operation and a generator for our space heater. Lunch was next, if I recall correctly, then a trip out to Arrival Heights to check on an old magnetometer that has bad axis. Hyomin and I opened the vault, tested the wires and whatnot, and found out that the coil itself was bad. ... read more
The Magnetometer

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 4th 2009

I found out late last night that there is no transportation pretty much anywhere today because of a delayed New Year's holiday. So, to kill the morning, Chris and I went to cargo to see if our container was shipped yesterday, found out we had to go to MCC (dont' know what this stands for), so we did, and it was. Coincidentally, on the way to MCC I ran into some one and she happened to mention that there is a 10K run at 10 a.m. The Scott Hut 10k is actually only 5.2 miles (around 8K) and runs the length of McMurdo twice -- it starts at the chapel, turns down to Discovery Hut and back, then up a large, impeding hill to the Scott Base sign and back. It was pretty warm today, but ... read more
The Hunt Is On
Vince's Cross

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 3rd 2009

Woke up, ate breakfast, then read until a meeting at 10:30 in which I learned nothing important, because I cannot remember what it was about. Probably something to do with recycling or protecting the environment. Went to cargo to see if we could get our box shipped out to Williams (Willy) Field, and they said tonight at the latest, so we ate lunch then headed out to Willy to see what we can do. The normal shuttles that go out there are Deltas, hug trucks with 4.5' tall wheels that are 3' wide -- spreads the weight of this behemoth over a larger area so as to not break through. Since our enclosure was not out there, we could not do more than disassemble the old one, so that is what we did: stopped the wind ... read more
The Old Box

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 2nd 2009

Finally Made It Another early morning for me, getting up at 4:30 to pack, 5:00 pick-up from the hotel, 6:30 check-in at the air port, then on the plane at 8:40. Plane taxied to the runway around 9. Off the plane at 9:30, wait an hour for the winds to die down again, then board at 10:30 and take off shortly thereafter. This time for good... well, until we landed on the ice at Willie Field anyway. The former president of Slovakia was on our plane and they did some sweet rolls back and forth for a documentary his is making. Nice views of the continent. After the plane landed we had to wait at the air field until Ivan the Terra Bus got unstuck and came to pick us up. The temperature was well ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station November 7th 2008

November 5, we were bussed to the Christchurch airport and the Antarctic Departure Terminal. There we were made to suit up in all of our cold weather gear (including boots, parka, goggles, hats, gloves and everything) and greeted by Kiwi military and customs officers and dogs who thoroughly checked our kit. We were then shuttled onboard a C-17 military cargo aircraft operated by the New York National Guard. Seating consisted of fold down webbing seats along the inner sides of the aircraft and rows of traditional airline seating mounted in the cargo area. Behind the seats were large pallets of cargo netted and secured in place. I took one of the seats along the side because I’d been briefed by an insider that - though they looked less comfortable - the netting seats offered a ... read more
Bumpy Ride
Disembarking the C-17
Mt. Erebus

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