Lee and I knocked off another station on our to-do list when we flew by helo to Linda AWS yesterday, 20 January (I suppose you could consider this part of the helo bonanza). We needed to dig out and remove the old instrumentation, raise the station, and install new instrumentation. We also wanted to set up freewave transmission for it, but we were prepared to use Argos transmission if the freewave failed and we couldn’t connect to White Island. The weather was great, with clear skies at McMurdo. At Linda we were on the edge of some high clouds, and there was only a slight breeze… Excellent working conditions.
Once they left, we got right to work. We set up our GPS instrument to get the coordinates for the site, then started digging. We needed to remove a couple of buried instruments, a lower temperature sensor and a junction box. This proved slightly more difficult than we first anticipated due to a layer of ice that had formed around the instruments. Once we recovered those, we could free up the cables for the removal of the rest of the instrumentation. The next order of business was to install the 7-foot tower section. Once that was installed, we put up the new instrumentation.
The high clouds started slowly creeping overhead, so we were glad that once we got all of the instrumentation secured, we were able to connect right away to freewave. It was just about as painless an attempt as one could imagine!
The new instrumentation we installed are (from top to bottom) an anemometer, temperature sensor, solar panel, freewave antenna, relative humidity sensor, acoustic depth gauge (measures snow height), pyranometer (radiation sensor), an infrared sensor to get the snow surface temperature, the enclosure including a pressure sensor, and last but not least a battery box to power the station.
I’ll close this post with more penguin photos! These were taken Sunday night, 19 January. Some folks from POLENET, the science group we share an office with in Crary, said they saw 4 penguins on the ice near McMurdo. I got my camera and went down to be treated to many more than 4! I watched them for about an hour, and at one point one hopped on shore about 25 feet away from me.