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4 November, 2002

One last equipment check

Once out in the middle of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, there will be no quick trips to the storeroom or to the corner store. Hence our main objective at the moment is to check extremely carefully making sure that we have every last piece of everything that we will need for our six weeks in the field. It is an important and time-consuming task. Each box must be checked off the master list prepared by the Raytheon cargo crew. Once each box is located it can be opened, and the contents checked to make sure that they are in good condition after their long trip from the US to McMurdo. (Some of the equipment traveled by cargo ship and has been travelling for months)

Following their initial check-in, some of our instruments will need calibration and conditioning to the new environment here in Antarctica (not unlike the people who are also adjusting to this new place). So, this afternoon we began moving these instruments from the cargo storeroom to the Crary lab (the main science building here at McMurdo) where they will be unpacked and worked on in the warmth.

This process of checking and calibrating started today, and will be completed later this week after I return from Snow School. Once we are sure everything is working properly, it will all be repacked for its trip by Hercules aircraft to Byrd Station where once again, it will be unpacked and set up on our train and put to the real test.

It was great to be working again today, beginning the process of readying ourselves for the field. I look foward to the adventures of snow school and to the return to the warmth of the lab and the science challenges ahead.

In the warmth of the Crary lab, unpacking a radio sonde

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