Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Naturally, the day with the worst Antarctic weather we've experienced was followed by a day with great weather--no wind, just a couple of clouds in the sky, and a balmy 24 F (-4.4 C). Ivan the Terra Bus was in for repairs, so we hopped on a Delta out to the LDB site. I spent most of the day finishing up the quick-look software for "replies" from the instrument during flight--essentially, every time we send a command, it sends us a reply telling us it got the command and did it. Work on the insulation underneath the instrument continued, and we took more calibration data. In preparation for

The EBEX team in the next building over spent most of the day doing tests on their instrument which involved it being out on the deck in front of their building. It's cool to see both EBEX and BLAST coming together--both experiments are significantly taller than Super-TIGER, and, since they require precision pointing for observations, look very scientific. Super-TIGER at this point, by contrast, with all the insulation layers on, looks like a giant shiny box.

On the way back into town we rode on Kress, the giant passenger transport vehicle that we first rode from the Sea Ice Runway to McMurdo after we arrived. Kress is relatively new, having only been in operation here one or two years, and is very spacious. For flat surfaces, it drives about as fast as the Terra Bus, if a little slower than a van or a Delta. The big issue is hills--right when the road we take to LDB passes by Scott Base, there's a pretty significant hill that needs to be climbed. The Terra Bus seems slow while going up, but Kress' top speed on the hill is 3 miles per hour. Surprisingly, slowly inching up the hill didn't slow us down too much, and we got back to McMurdo about ten minutes later than normal.

I'll try to add some photos later--the internet here is particularly slow today and keeps timing out every time I try to add a picture.

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