Wednesday, November 2, 2011
First arrivals at South Pole
The two IceCube Winter-Overs are enroute from McMurdo down to the South Pole today. They'll gradually take over, during the next two or so weeks, from the previous Winter-Overs. The two of them will run the IceCube instrumentation at Pole during the next twelve months with oversight from the Northern Hemisphere. But when a fan is blocked, and the over-temperature alarm sounds for a computer (odd thinking about overheating at the South Pole!) and a beeper goes off, it's one of the Winter-Overs who slogs the mile from the South Pole Station over to the IceCube Laboratory regardless of the time of day or the weather.
Some of our other colleagues are also heading that direction, and some of my ballooning colleagues are in McMurdo already getting ready to prepare the CREST instrument for flight. (CREST is a novel attack on the problem of understanding the TeV electrons in the cosmic radiation, see the talk here for (technical) details.)
The first flights in and out of Pole are on Baslers (see photo above, modified DC-3s, airframes over 50 years old!). More on those planes some other time...