On the Ice

We’re driving!

On 20 January, Lee and I took snow machines to return to Willie Field AWS and reinstall the enclosure, and then go to Windless Bight AWS to raise the station. Since the snow road was moved, Willie Field AWS was no longer near the road, requiring us to take something other than a truck to visit it. We zipped over to it and reinstalled the enclosure with the new CR1000X datalogger. Everything went smoothly there, and we headed over to Windless Bight.

Hoarfrost on the temperature radiation shield.
Willie Field after we finished our work.

It’s about a 45-minute drive from Willie Field to Windless Bight. As we approached Windless Bight, the surface conditions became ideal for snow machining, as there was a bit of fresh snow from a recent storm. Since this area generally has light winds, or “windless” conditions, the snow didn’t blow away.

We arrived, and it was a beautiful, sunny, windless, and warm (around 33F) day.

Windless Bight when we arrived.

Since the snow doesn’t blow away, there is a lot of annual accumulation at Windless Bight. As you can tell from the picture, there wasn’t a big black box (our power system) at the surface under the enclosure. That means we needed to dig down and recover it. The last time we were at Windless Bight was in the 2019-20 field season. We ended up needing to dig down 7 feet 4 inches to get the power system!

Lee digging to get the power system.
Lee providing a sense of scale.

Once we had the power system at the surface, we refilled the hole (always depressing to erase the hard work we had just done) and put on a new tower section. We also needed to install a new enclosure since we wanted to swap CR1000 dataloggers and install a new pressure sensor.

The new and improved Windless Bight AWS.

It was a successful day, as both AWS are both transmitting and functioning properly.



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