Today's goal was to get the instrument panel back into the vertical shaft. To get an idea of what this means you have to imagine a 200 pound square object, very difficult to hold, with delicate sensors on-board, that must carted across a stream, carried up a narrow flight of seventy stairs and jostled into position through a narrow granite tunnel. And that is only the beginning. Once in place it must be hoisted up twenty feet or so with cables and winches and then stabilized with steel girders. It is a lot of work, and takes the group at least a half day. You can see the process in the pictures below. It is definitely the wettest day of all because you have to stand under the quick draining glacier. For some reason it seems the granite has sprung a bunch of new leaks everywhere and the water is just rushing in everywhere. All in all it was very successful, and the instruments have tested out well. It is amazing to think that in a few weeks the place where I am standing in the ice cave will be completely filled and the glacier will begin its slide against the friction plate. I look forward to seeing what kind of data it yields.
The panel with the load sensors and the friction plate likely weighs about two hundred pounds. It is a difficult job to move it up narrow stairs in a wet dark tunnel.
There is not so much room to move around in the tunnel leading to the vertical shaft, in the back you can see the supporting posts for the instrument panel that still need to be assembled.
The instrument panel is leveled and the cables are attached, one person mans the winch and the others guide it upwards. Not so easy as everything tends to tip, and there is water flowing everywhere.
I climb into the ice chamber that has been melted and take a photo from above showing the panel almost at the top.
The friction plate will now rest here for a year, in line with the granite bedrock the glacier will slide over it, seven sensors in total, four loads, two water pressure and one acoustic sensor will report back data for as long as possible.
I work late into the evening soldering the accelerometer cables together, I really want to make sure the connections are good because without that the experiment fails for the entire year, something I would not want to bear the responsibility for. On the way back I notice some rock that fell from the side of the tunnel onto the road, actually kind of big!
The accelerometers must fit into a tight space without shorting out. I take some time to make sure the connections are sound.
This rock appears to have fallen off the rock wall on the side of the tunnel... I did not see it before....it is always an eerie walk back to the living quarters.