Report #3

Dear all,

the first three days last week we checked our equipment for transport damage and tested the three radar systems (VHF, UWB, L-Band) in loop-back modes. The balloons were stored for two days at temperatures around -5°C before they were blown-up on a sunny morning. When taking them down next morning they had already noticeably lost pressure, but were not flat. For the transport to LDC we removed the antennas and to protect the primary cross-track balloon we put it on the along track balloon and pulled them to LDC.

Our remaining gear arrived by a Basler flight on Thursday morning. We packed the antenna panels and trusses immediately on our cargo sledge and left after lunch.

Friday and Saturday we installed the electronics in the PB100 passenger cabin. A vent in the cabin made it very easy to route the antenna cables inside, but we also faced some unexpected problems with balloons and other equipment due to the height of and low temperatures at LDC. However, with some help, we managed to overcome these problems and to collect data along two select DELORES (DEep LOking RES) line. We stopped early due to a technical problem which we were able to solve in the camp. 

Sunday we checked the system again and were able to solve Saturday's problem and other snags. Based on the outcome of the processing of Saturday's data, we decide to map region B in V-orientation with a line spacing of 250 m and a profile length of 4 km. The length is much larger than the regions of interest, but some processing steps require a certain distance to remove edge-effects.

Unfortunately, we broke a towline and as consequence eight antenna cables before we could finish the planned grid. Luckly we have enough antenna cables with us to replace the broken set. First checks revealed that the antennas with replacement cables work fine. Tomorrow we will check the electronics. In the worst case, we will switch to the UWB receiver and operate with the same antennas.

Little Dome C, 01/Dec