Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Let's get physical (& frigid)

It seems like the last few days have been some of the more physical ones so far on the Ice. I've been lifting weights again, and have been pretty sore from that. We also had a large group of folks working on the AGAP project arrive and set up shop out in the cryogenics facility (because that's the only place with enough warm space to accommodate them). They have brought down a whole bunch of equipment that will be assembled into 10 autonomous seismic stations that will be deployed in the deep field in East Antarctica to study the very high altitude Gamburtsev Province that is characterized by a range of mountains that are totally covered by the ice sheet. The medical staff AGAP brought along is being extremely tentative about letting the project members do much physical exercise before they start heading off to altitudes of ~13,000 feet, so the science support staff got to do most of the heavy lifting for them yesterday.

I stayed and helped the "Cryo Boy" (my job sadly doesn't have a nickname) do a fill of liquid helium into a smaller dewar-an insulated vessel-to transport out to the Dark Sector for the BICEP telescope. Filled, the dewar weighed about 435 lbs. While filling it our ventilation wasn't quite right in the cryo facility and we set off one of the low-oxygen alarms in the cryo facility. We had to shut down and ventilate, and let the right people know we were OK so they didn't activate the emergency response teams to come to our rescue. In the afternoon we transported the dewar to MAPO on a snow mobile sled, and I then started in on the daily checks for my Cusp Tech position.

In the evening I watched "Cool Hand Luke", which is a great flick. Everybody was joking around afterwards about how we should harass our supervisors with the lingo that the prisoners had to use to the guards, and how if you did anything wrong you got a "night in the box".

Publishing this post, boss!

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