lördag 14 mars 2009
So, as a last note from my stay in Alaska, I'm putting out a photo from the Dalton Highway (the road up to Toolik) showing the true Alaskan nature, and another one of the aurora we saw last night... It was really pretty! I'm going to miss gazing out for aurora every night, but I'm really looking forward to getting to sleep during the nights again. And I hope I'll be back in Fairbanks soon again!
torsdag 5 mars 2009
After some sequence tests we decided that the Toolik Hydrogen Rocket was ready for launch!
tisdag 3 mars 2009
Tobbe, getting logs from the sled to bring into the sauna. It was a gorgeous day today!
söndag 1 mars 2009
From left to right: Alvis, guppies, Blvis, house. From top to bottom: Sweet aurora, fainter arc in the distance, our boxes with cameras.
tisdag 24 februari 2009
The bad news are: It's been overcast the last two days, and it's been snowing lots today, the aurora hasn't cooperated quite as much as wanted, the BLVIS camera is still fighting us and we used up our once-a-week shower allowance today.
Every evening during the rocket window we run outside once an hour (at least, most of the time we're out there anyway, just checking on the instruments or fiddeling in some way) to check on the weather and aurora. This is of course getting slightly tiresome in the long run, so yesterday we decided it was time to get ourselves some extra Aurora watchers, and build the compulsory campaign snowmen! Here they are, we call them Glen and Greg, they're looking out for aurora for us, proudly equipped with the Cascades-2 hats! (The red stick in Glen's hand is what we've used for marking pointing directions for the boxes).
söndag 22 februari 2009
Chocolate break on the top of Jade mountain
onsdag 18 februari 2009
We were standing outside, looking at the rockets too, that was cool! While doing that, we had some aurora to the north of us.
The problems with the Blvis camera have been bothering us for a couple of days now. We have software to run it both in linux (preferably) but also windows, and switching between the two means taking monitor and keyboard outside... standard procedures for arctic scientists of course!
We're still working on the problems, but today we're a bit limited by the snow blizzard that is passing by. I tried changing some lenses and filters already today, but gave up when the big lid with the dome flew off in the wind! Fortunately nothing was damaged, but it was a struggle to get it back on again. Opening the lids to the other boxes also means letting lots of snow in, so we decided just to leave things as they are tonight... we are not going to be able to make any observations from here anyway.
Trying to seal up our window with cables pulled through
So that should keep it closed for the night!
måndag 16 februari 2009
The view was magnificent, we went up to the Brooks range and to a gas station up there. The pilot, Scott, was really great, and showed us how a helicopter works... and even let both of us fly for a while!!! That is, he was still in charge, we got to do the steering for a bit. It was quite hard as the helicopter was very sensitive and would tilt immediately as you moved the joystick. It's a bit like playing videogames though!
The Brooks mountains
We had some wonderful aurora the other night! The whole sky was lit up by it. Unfortunately they couldn't launch the rocket into this, of various other reasons. They did do tests of the instruments on the payload, and SMILE was behaving properly! We also had a test-run with all optical equipment, which went well in the end, although it started out quite chaotic before I had a good system. It was really good to practise, I'm glad that wasn't the real thing!
Bunny boots with a Tobbe attached to them
We're now hoping for some more stars soon, so we can focus the cameras properly, and check with the stars where we're actually pointing. We've had some problems with cameras not working, as well as not being able to see anything through filters, but hopefully we're on our way to solve those problems... would be nice if we could solve it before the rocket gets launched, and not afterwards!
fredag 13 februari 2009
Dome set up for guppies (not there yet in the photo)
... so we decided it was time to take a break and try the skis we brought! Of course the weather didn't cooperate, when we went out the wind had picked up quite a bit... but that couldn't stop us! Apart from the wind it was a gorgeous day, and we had a really good time! We went across Toolik lake and up a small mountain on the other side.
tisdag 10 februari 2009
We stopped at Yukon River for a short break, before we got up to the higher mountain passes. Up here no trees are growing, and there are mountains in the distance.. It reminds me a bit about Svalbard, but perhaps just because the wind really aches in my face when going out in -35 deg C! One nice change though is that we don't have to bring a rifle when we go out! Here are some more photos from our drive:
The view along the road was spectacular, even if it wasn't a very clear day. Too bad it got dark in the end, but the full moon was up, throwing a spooky light on the mountains.
lördag 7 februari 2009
Today was also Tobbes first day in Alaska, and I dragged him out to the campus early in the morning to help go through the equipment (and to get us some skis to bring to Toolik!). We soon got things set up, and you can see the mess we made on the photo below..
I've been bad at putting out photos lately, so here are a few more from my stay in Fairbanks.
Anna and Jeff's house
Anna cooking salmon for us in her kitchen, before heading out to the jam session
Anna and Dave, jamming in Dave's cabin