Saturday, December 1, 2012

More Pre-Flight Preparation and Stuff I Forgot From Friday

There were two other things from Friday that I neglected to mention yesterday. First, we got a quick visit from three members of the National Science Board, which is appointed by the President to oversee the National Science Foundation. Bob gave them a quick tour and we all introduced ourselves before they had to hurry out to see the other payloads and catch a flight.

Also on that flight from the ice to Christchurch was Frank, whose time on the ice finished up with the Hang Test. This leaves the Super-TIGER ice team at 7 people. Frank's plane out was also the last of the Air Force C-17s that will come in and out of McMurdo until late January. In the meantime, the station will be serviced by a modified Airbus (run by the Australians, I believe) and military C-130s. This means that less cargo will be getting through to the ice, which means that during the "C-17 Gap" fresh fruits and vegetables become a bit more precious. It also means that the people that leave the ice between now and around January 20th have an extra three hours or so on their flight back to Christchurch, making the trip home that much longer.

Saturday, wind conditions were bad enough that the Pathfinder balloon launch CSBF had planned had to be postponed. This balloon will verify that the vortex has indeed set up around Antarctica, clearing the way for actual payloads (i.e. Super-TIGER) to launch. This vortex essentially allows for a balloon launched from Antarctica to float around the entire continent and come back roughly to the same spot in roughly two weeks. Ideally, Super-TIGER will get two revolutions around, for a total of around 30 days of flight, but that depends on the path the balloon takes as well as the smooth functioning of all the equipment involved.

We also got to work deciding on initial voltages for all the Photomultiplier Tubes (PMTs). We also got initial values for how much output from our detectors causes a coincidence in the software, and started working on how to sort high-priority events from low priority ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment