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ITP19 Deployment Operations

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The entrance to ice camp Barneo is indicated by the ice sculpture on approach from the runway. (Photo by Rick Krishfield)


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The vast amount of ice surrounding the camp was 1.8-1.9 m thick.  This area was selected several hundred meters away from the tents of Barneo in the distance. (Photo by Rick Krishfield)


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Rick Krishfield and Kris Newhall find that augering the 10.5" hole for the IMB deployment was more difficult than anticipated due to a dull auger blade.   Wind is the factor than makes the cold temperatures (<-25 C) bearable for only short periods of time.  (Photo by Sigrid Salo)


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The following day, Newhall lowers the wire supporting ITP 19 through the hole. (Photo by Rick Krishfield)


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ITP 19 surface package is positioned on a pallet after deployment with the IMB in the background. (Photo by Rick Krishfield)


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Next day, Newhall prepares the AOFB on site for deployment. (Photo by Rick Krishfield)


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Krishfield doesn't particularly relish the cramped quarters in the small tent used to keep the sensors warm before installation. (Photo by Kris Newhall)


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Weatherex station, AOFB, ice stakes, and ITP 19 in position on the first day after deployment. (Photo by Rick Krishfield)


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Map of the rough dimensions of the ice floe containing the buoy cluster (top), and distances and bearings from ITP (bottom).  (Rick Krishfield)


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NOAA North Pole webcam with ITP 18 and IMB in view on July 1, 2008.  While the ice is rapidly melting on the surface, the web cam turned so the ITP can just be seen past the weather station mixed in amongst the many melt ponds. (http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/2008/images/noaa1-2008-0701-162506.jpg )


We and our gear arrived at the Russian ice camp Barneo (http://www.barneo.ru/2008e.htm) on April 5 after a 2.5 hour flight on the Antonov from Spitsbergen.  At first we can find no one that can speak to us in English, and have no tent arrangements, but with a little help from a friendly Russian scientist that we know, we are taken care of. 

Next morning, we survey the surrounding ice with a 2-inch auger to determine thicknesses, and pick out a 1.9 m floe just behind camp, several hundred paces away.  All the ice in the area is first year ice that formed since the previous summer in the large polynya in the eastern Arctic, and drifted to the present location.  It is very homogenous, so there really is no choice, but to take the largest, closest floe available.

The IMB is installed on this day, the ITP on the next and AOFB on the day after while the Weatherex buoy (with webcam) is assembled and tested nearby.  The air temperature is around -27 C, so in order to keep the underwater instruments warm on the ice before being deployed, we use a tiny 2-man tent on the ice that is heated electrically with a generator.  Though the ice is relatively thin, the auger blades had a difficult time cutting through the hard ice, so the hole making proceeded slowly in the cold.  AOFB operations are verified on laptop, although the Iridium telephone takes several attempts to connect due to the cold.

On the following day the buoy array was surveyed and diagrammed, and a few days later we were on the southbound Antonov flight.  The Barneo ice camp was occupied until the end of April, evacuated, so that only the buoy cluster remained.

More information on the NPEO field operations is also available at: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/NP2008Reports.html.



Last updated: September 3, 2014
 


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