July 22, 2011 Day 25: LC-130 operations and scatter radar
Today's student commentary
Submitted by Ole (Greenland)
Today we started with a plane tour in airport and. In this plane tour we were told how the Hercules airplanes are and how solitary parts (engine, cockpit, emergency etc.) are. We could ask about everything we will know and could sit on the pilot seat which was pretty awesome! After sitting comfortably on the cockpit we drove to Air National Guard Office which is beside the airport. We went around in the office to see how it works. (Pilot) Paul Bernasconi told about the Air Guard system and said that the pilots go often to Raven which is an old base on the ice cap east to Kangerlussuaq.
After lunch we drove to Kellyville to use some of the instruments there. We started the generator for the big radar and then pressed some buttons which controls the radar connections which shows the radar location in the computers. After that scientist --- told us about Solar wind effects on The earth’s magnetic poles and the Aurora in North Pole which makes a circle over Greenland, Alaska & Siberia.
We’d last dinner together with food ordered in Thai place & cleaned the rooms and the hall early today.
Today's teacher commentary
Submitted by Laura (USA)
Today was a fantastic 'last full day' to the program!
In the morning, Paul Bernasconi, of the NY Air National Guard, was kind enough to fit us into a busy flight schedule to give us an up close and personal tour of the LC-130. Specialists from environmental, guidance, and hydraulics were on hand to answer all of our questions. After our flights on the LC-130's to Summit and NEEM, we had lots of questions for them! We all remarked on how surprised how many people were in the operations building that we toured after the plane. There is a great deal going on behind scenes that you don't realize when you are sitting on the plane headed to a science field site! Paul visited us earlier in the program and gave a great presentation on the physics of flying in polar regions and the role of the 109th. Today's visit combined with the previous presentation and flights on the LC-130's really gave everyone the full picture of what goes into Arctic exploration.
After lunch, we headed to Kellyville to revist the Sondrestrom Research Facility. This time, Anja Stromme gave us a referesher on how the technology works and its applications. We then went on to use the Scatter Radar ourselves to collect data. We learned about the Earth's magnetic field and how the auroras form and why they behave the way they do. Aside from the science, I found myself thinking about the logistics of running such instrumentation. With a 120,000 volt energy requirement to collect data, that's a lot of barrels of fuel for the generators.
We ended the day with a group dinner of Thai take out in the school building and finishing presentations.
Today's scientists and other professionals
Paul Bernasconi, Dan Russell, Joe Corra, and West Middleton
Anja Stromme (SRI International)
1) Tour of LC-130 and operations with Paul Bernasconi, Dan Russell, Joe Corra, and West Middleton
3) Returning to Sondrestrom Research Facility to use the Scatter Radar to collect data
4) Finishing presentations