Work picks up
What this means to us is a busy time getting instruments ready for deployment. Most of this falls to Neil, our atmospheric chemist, but I've been covering for Jules by preparing the solar/wind generator power system. It's an interesting and well built little system comprising a controller/data-logger for each of the three wind generators, all sending data back to a central logger. This lot will be deployed at Precious Bay, about 10km away to monitor ozone levels at the coast.
Wind generator controllers (L) and logger enclosure (R)
We're also chasing Ozone on the Simpson. But rather than looking across, we're going straight up using a set of mirco-instruments mounted on a helium filled blimp. This experiment begins with setting up the Weather Haven, where the kit is stored between flights. A nice day made for plenty of volunteers.
The weather haven goes up
It's been flat out, but there's still been time for a laugh. Ant, our ever cheerful chef, turned 30 last week and wanted to go camping. Un-deterred by the cold, seven of us grabbed survival bags and headed into the grounds.
Ant celebrates his 30th
It was about -40C with a bit of wind, but nowhere near as much snow as the photo suggests (the flash picks up on really tiny particles in the air). It was a bit cold when we toasted Ant's birthday with some perfectly chilled champaign, but I soon warmed up when wedged in the down-filled warmth of the survival bag.
Bivi-ing in the garden
Today is gash-day, bringing the delights of domestic chores at the weekend. And so life swings back from Polar Hero (TM) to housewife!