Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2003/04

   

   
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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

25-26/1

Monday being Australia's national day, we decided with Jean-Louis's help to celebrate it on Sunday. We hoped to reiterate last year's Australia day which finished with 20 people filling our little tent and going through the bottle of Champagne we ordered from DDU. Weary from my late night I didn't even make it for lunch. It was a shame because I missed some salmon, kangaroo and crocodile. Jon and Colin did however enjoy it a lot, especially after cleaning the AASTINO for our afternoon guest. I gave the invitations during the regular Sunday meeting. The meeting takes place at 2pm and every group makes a report of the progress my made during the week. When it was my turn, I mentioned the pending arrival of our SODAR. Having received an email from Michael stating that the SODAR had arrived in Mc Murdo, I was expecting it to take another week to get to Dome C. Instead, I was stopped in the middle of my announcement by the manager of the station who corrected me by saying that the SODAR had arrived a day before and was patiently waiting to be picked up in the workshop. Completely surprised, I finished my report forgetting to invite everyone to visit the AASTINO in the afternoon. Thankfully, Jon raised his hand and fixed my mistake.

After the meeting was over, we jumped on a skidoo and drove back to the AASTINO in order to get some work done before the arrival of our guests. It was a real pleasure to work inside the AASTINO after the spring cleaning that was done earlier on. During that time we completed the automated weather system (AWS). Standing about 30m from the AASTINO, it consists of a 3m antenna, with wind, pressure, temperature and cloud sensors. Meteorology is an important par of our work and it is nice to measure these quantities along with the other experiments. So we got the AWS completely wired, and we quickly programmed a little script that automatically records the data. I would like to get a couple of days of data to compare with the station weather system in order to make sure that that what we measure is right. As we did this, people started to come into the AASTINO. I took care of the tour for the French speakers while Jon was doing the English translations for the others. Unlike last year, no one actually stayed very long. Instead of visiting and then pilling up in the tent, people came and went, probably put off by the fact that we had replaced the Champagne with beer. So it was not exactly the event we had the year before but it meant that we got a lot of work done instead.

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