zondag 23 november 2014

Instruments approved!

Yesterday morning I tested the albedometer on the blue ice and snow, and installed the weather station near the station. In the morning it was cloudy and windy (especially on the blue ice!), but the afternoon turned out to be extremely pleasant, with less wind and sunny conditions. Many people ask me if it is really that cold here. Temperatures have been hovering between -20 and -10 since our arrival. The feeling depends in fact on the wind; if you're out of the wind and in the sun it is no problem to work with bare hands; if the winds pick up, you tend to immediately grab your gloves...

I got help from field guide Christophe (who will also assist me in the field) to set up the station, and it was good to refresh my memory regarding the setup. Jos, a flemish retired journalist who is responsible for communicating, disseminating and reporting our activities beyond the Antarctic ice sheet, took some nice photos during the weather station setup (see below).

The iWS weather station is a piece of modern technology; it is not only small and easy to transport, has virtually no wires in it, but is also equipped with Bluetooth technology. That means that I could directly read out the data from the station, and see that everything is working well. I was very happy to know that there were no sensor fatalities during the long way from Utrecht (-Brussels-Cape Town- Novo-) to Princess Elisabeth. The iWS also sent out its measurements via satellite already, so it looks like everything is ready for deployment on the ice shelf.

Today it's Sunday, and that means that the staff here is more relaxed than the other days. Of course, scientists never stop working so they just continue their job. My colleagues are very busy preparing their drills and radars, but for now it looks like we are ready to go on Tuesday. Also the weather looks fine and dry (check this forecast made by the meteorologist from the German station a few hundred km's from here).

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