March 10, 2016

​Yesterday we scheduled to go to the NOAA facilities and the Inupiat Heritage Center to tourist up the place while we are able to. Of course though the day we plan to do all of the fun things the weather clears up – perfect conditions to go out on the ice.

So we had to improvise our day plans. For a couple of hours we toured the NOAA facility thanks to our friend Bryan Thomas who recently started working with the NOAA. They primarily monitor greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere because the Arctic has some of the less polluted air so it is easier to pick out tiny signals from pollutants. They let us take home a can of sample air! Ha! The March 9th CO2 concentrations were 409.49ppm. 

Then we quickly got together to get on the ice. We got Sleds A (with the microclimate sensors) and C (just IR) out on the ice and surveyed a 400 meter line perpendicular to shore. We later found out Sled A wasn’t marking data to keep track of distance and four of the sensors (out of 6) were acting up. May have to replace those temperature sensors and rewire the distance tracker. Sled C was good data. 

We got Hans strapped in the OhmMapper. We aren’t sure if the signal being lost with the OhmMapper is due to the water eating the signal or the cold getting to the receivers and transmitters so we decided to try to control for one (coldness) to see if we can get better data. We kept the OhmMapper warm inside the van and pulled up right to the shore and assemble the receivers and transmitter. We waited until we got out to the 200 meter mark to start collecting data, all the while keeping the receivers and transmitter off the ice until we were ready to start data collection. We were able to get data up until about 190 meters down the line. I have yet to look at the modeling status of the data but we were able to get all four receiver data for 190/200 meter line so that is looking up! 

We also got the GPR out there to feed/receive 500MHz. We did look at the picture GPR mapped and it was a consistent 80-90cm boundary of ice-water. Which is exactly the measurements we got ground truthing last week with the ice drill. The ice is much thinner than in 2014, so the variation of ice formation is less – i.e. the ice is much smoother on the bottom. 

It was a successful day out on the ice and we ended it with the Inupiat Heritage Center and a dinner out in the town. Not to mention at midnight last night, Katie woke us all up to catch the most beautiful, breath taking, vibrant green aurora I have witnessed. It’s the brightest we’ve ever seen. It was gorgeous. We managed to get a group exposure photo. So excited to see how it turned out! 

Today, we are going to take the GPR out again but with the 1,000MHz transmitters and hopefully get the Thermicrons (temperature probes) out on the ice and see what we get. Probably going to do some data processing and maybe take OhmMy back out. Oh, also we need to prepare for Saturday’s Tuzzy talk with the towns folk and other visiting scientists. These next few days will be jam packed!!

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