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6 December, 2000

Today I actually feel like I can contribute and do some really useful work. This morning I worked with Penny Rowe the grad student from Seattle helping her align the SPT device that will be shooting an infrared laser along the plateau to measure conditions similar to those in the upper troposphere. In other words, cold and dry. Actually today, or at least before noon the conditions were not that great for here experiment. She needed clear and we had cloudy with a fair amount of diamond dust blowing around. This did however produce a really nice double sun halo that my camera just couldn't do justice to. Von and I also helped Penny move her instrument to the back of her building so that it would have less interference from the sun. It took all three of us to move it.

After lunch I went out on a mission to measure the voltage and continuity of our two transformers. one at 250 meters and the other at 500 meters along the alley that we will be shooting the SPT. We needed to know if the voltage was stable and high enough to support the FPH devices that will be used to take humidity measurements to help calibrate the SPT data. I took a multimeter and a cheap electric fan with me to see if things actually would work. The 500 meter had 103 volts and the fan spun slowly up to about 3/4th speed. The 250 meter transformer had 117 volts and the fan worked as advertised, which means that the FPH should work. We also discovered that the SPT was more out of alignment that we previous thought and so we are going to take the Telescope portion ot the instrument into the only long dark expanse at South Pole during the summer, the Heavy Equipment repair shop. Actually a hundred foot super insulated box.

This is Fred! Fred is a Hypertat. I actually sleep in Fred 3, a 8 by 10 cell with a folding door and a great blackout curtain, which really helps since it always seems like noon! The Hypertats are modular living quarters that have their own independent heat source. No water, so you have to go over to the other side of Bedrock to use Chades which is the name for the bathing facility.

Here is the larger view of the bedrock living group. Fred is on the right and Chades is on the right along with Barney and Betty. From here to the Dome is about 350 meters, not too bad of a walk if the wind isn't blowing. Actually, when the wind went to zero it was a nice Montana ski day!

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