Sunday, 11 December 2011

Out with the old and in with the new

The old MET Andy Dixon on his way out after spending the winter at Halley and training me up on the MET procedures for the past week. Somehow i think he finds my hair style and colour funny, not totally sure why but a real fun bloke to spend time with.


The new MET winterer, sam burrell. I think he will do just fine.

Sam in preparation for taking snow samples to be sent back the UK to be measured for heavy metals that are an indication of nuclear activity, be it weapons or explosions around the world. 

The Dobson spectrophotometer has been measuring here for over 40 years. Dobson measurements are performed many times each and every day and give an indication of the levels of ozone above Antarctica. It was here at Halley using this spectrophotometer that the ozone hole was discovered.

Every day at Halley a balloon is launched carrying meteorological instruments that transmit data back to base on humidity, temperature and pressure etc as the balloon ascends up into the stratosphere. Here, i am preparing the sonde (instruments) for the balloon flight.

Tying the sonde to the balloon after it has been filled with Helium gas.

Up, up and away. Letting the balloon go from the back of the BART platform. On a clear day its progress can be monitored from the ground. On a windy day the take off can be a bit of a challenge.

Up up and away. The idea is to get it to 20km around midday, so that all the balloon flights over the world can be synchronized to roughly the same time period. By this time the balloon will be the size of a double decker bus and at some stage it will burst and fall back to earth to be lost in the Antarctican wilderness.

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