Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's been a busy few days

in Eureka.

We arrived a few days ago, and have been working and playing (hockey on sea ice!!) ever since.

This is a wolf we saw today right by the weather station. We followed him for a while, but tried not to get too close because he was alone - and therefore probably HUNGRY!

This campaign I'm doing some hardware work for the CANDAC RMR Lidar which is run by a group at Dalhousie University. The lab is at 0pal (Zero-altitude PEARL Auxiliary Laboratory, where PEARL is the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory). PEARL is the big red lab on the ridge that I was at last year, but 0pal is down near the weather station - very convenient 14-second commute to work every day. The lidar lab is pretty small, on purpose. It all fits within a shipping container that has a hatch in the roof for the light to come in and out. The black foam core things in the front (looks like the top of the table but it's not) cover the lasers, and the big black box that I'm making holes in is called the polychromator. The things sticking out the top are photomultiplier tubes, one for each wavelength of light that is received and counted by the lidar. Part of what I'm doing in Eureka is to move and install a depolarization channel in the lidar so that we can differentiate between water and ice in the clouds. The results of that should be very interesting later, but for now it just means that I have to drill holes through metal plates so that I can hook everything into the box. The primary telescope mirror is at the bottom of the biggest black box (at my elbow), which extends down almost to the floor.

PEARL and 0pal... Yes, Mum, there is one more: SAFIRE. It's a radar, and Zen and I went out there today with Keith when he did his checks on the building. It takes up a whole field, and each antenna is much taller than I am.

1 comment:

  1. Are you getting used to the cold?