Geoff Sims @ UNSW
Home South Pole Diaries 2012/13 19th December, 2012


Wednesday, 19th December, 2012

Crossing the river (Geoff)

Today Campbell & Luke, two of the engineers who deployed PLATO-R last year, flew down from Auckland to share the experience they had last year, in order to help assertain exactly what needs to be done this year and how best to tackle it. We were also joined by Craig & Abraham, our collegues from the University of Arizona, for a day-long discussion & photo slide show in the library of our hotel. It was quite a fancy-looking room, complete with genuine Brittanica encyclopedias and model Hercules aircraft.


Most of the day was spent discussing the mechanical and electrical intricacies of many components in the observatory.

Along with these discussions, we also played our own unique version of this game:

In this famous "Japanese IQ test", you need to get a bunch of people (a father and his two sons; a mother and her two daughters; and a cop & robber) across a river using a raft, with various rules as to who is allowed to be left with who, who can drive the raft, etc. In our version of the game, the family was represented by myself & the three others from UNSW; the cop & robber were our American collegues; the raft was a Twin Otter (light aircraft), and the river was 1000 km of ice between the South Pole and Ridge A.

We were planning out various scenarios of how to get various members of our team (and their associated tools & service equipment) in and out of Ridge A, maximising the probability of success and keeping in mind we have a limited number of flights. This was made trickier by the fact that we don't actually know how many flights, how many people, or how long we will be spending at Ridge A. This all depends on logisitical constraints, weather, and other factors that will only be known to us once we arrive in Antarctica.

Speaking of Antarctica, we are scheduled to fly out tomorrow evening (20th December) at 22:00.

-- Geoff


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