Friday, December 14, 2007

Gettin' the heck outta Pole!

Don't worry, it's in a good, no, a GREAT way! Due to some organizational and logistical difficulties (to put things diplomatically), my compatriot the Cryo Tech (on the left) and I will be heading off for the higher, colder Antarctic Gamburtsev Province (AGAP) to install an autonomous magnetometer experiment that is currently located here at Pole. We just spent a couple hours digging down to access the electronics boxes and the sensor itself. The project personnel will arrive here today, and we'll begin to uninstall and package the equipment for transport to AGAP. Then the two of us will be trained on how to install and calibrate the instrument. We're going to be flying 100s of kilometers (I'm not sure exactly how far it is to the camp) and about 4,000 feet higher to the AGAP camp where we will install the Low-Power Magnetometer (LPM). I'm not sure if we'll fly on a Twin Otter, LC-130, or Basler. Anyhow, it's definitely a pretty rare experience, and we're both pretty pumped about getting to go. I guess we might be out there a tentative 5 days, weather permitting of course.

The only downside is that we might miss the New Year's celebration here. But, I wouldn't be getting any kisses at midnight, so I might as well be somewhere digging big holes in the ice, lugging lots of gear, assembling electronics, and breathing even less oxygen than here.

Sounds like my kind of party!

Photo credit: The one and only Mr. Baker

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