Signs, Scanning, Little Jobs

More cable taping Over the last couple days the highbay has been fairly quiet. Laura and Tristan have been busy running test scans and generally preparing for the flight, while the rest of us tackle the ever-shrinkng list of little jobs left to do. A job in both categories is testing and finalizing the extreme elevation limits. Because of the slow times, I also took a photographic tour of the signs around the highbay. […]

Castle Rock

Stopping to Pose I On Sunday, because we’d been making good progress, we took a day off. We got to sleep in and enjoy Sunday brunch. In the afternoon, Tyr, Natalie, and I set off for Castle Rock. This is the highest nearby point, and along the longest recreational hike that isn’t out to LDB and back. Beneath Castle Rock is also a large hill where the glacier flows off land into the ice shelf. Here’s the best place around for downhill skiing, or, in a pinch, sledding on a galley tray. […]

Shiny, EBEX

Three Marks A couple days ago we were busy with some arts and crafts. Making foam boxes, and adding bits and pieces of mylar around. EBEX was also outside for their compatibility tests. […]


The Boss picks us up Yesterday we successfully conducted out pre-flight compatibility test! This means attaching everything that will fly: all of CSBF’s little sensors, and the flight train, parachute, terminate package, etc. Then we hang off The Boss and drive a little away from the highbay so that radio signals are cleaner. While it hangs there for a few hours, we pretend it’s flying and make sure that everything works as expected. And, it turns out, things worked as expected. Now, after a little more arts and crafts and touching up, we will be ready to fly. However, EBEX will fly before us, and we will not launch before the 20th. So, we will have a while to practice and test before launch. […]

Inside the Highbay – Panoramas

BLASTPol in the highbay A couple indoor panoramas of the highbay. Showing our working area now that Super-TIGER is flying away, and the Side-Scoop of Joy is “stored” on the gondola. […]

Mirrors, and Side-Scoop of Joy

Wrestling into place Yesterday we installed the Side-Scoop of Joy, now that there’s enough free space in the highbay. This is a large sun shield structure mounted around the telescope; the joy is due to it allowing us to observe desirable regions, which during the Antarctic summer are very close to the sun. Because this makes the mirror much less accessible, some last mirror touch-ups were conducted first. Plus, the mirror and scoop are both shiny. Today has a shiny theme. […]

A Few Randoms

I'm learning to cross-country ski Yesterday I took a day off. I did almost nothing, and took zero pictures. So, all I have to post are a few random things taken since last time. Happy 2012-12-12! […]

Super-TIGER Launch

Tracks Monday was Super-TIGER’s first roll-out for a launch attempt. Somehow, Monday also managed to be their launch day. When the usual bus arrived at around 8:00, they had already been out for many hours. BLAST-Pol had been dropped of at the dance floor to make way for TIGER to exit our shared highbay. And TIGER was out on the launch pad with the flight train laid out and the balloon ready to open. But there was too much fog to see anything. Once the fog had cleared, inflation was well underway (though it takes a couple hours). Slowly, members of the BLAST-Pol, Super-TIGER, and EBEX teams trickled out to the spectator area. Launches are always exciting, if maybe a little too exciting when it’s your payload on the line. […]


Laura tinselling Laura and Barth brought some decorations down with them, and it was decided that yesterday was the correct time to bring them out. Our mezzanine in the highbay is somewhat shinier, lightier, candy-canier, and generally more festive. […]


Our guide: Dennis Yesterday some of us took a tour of the WISSARD test site. Before deploying to drill down to a sub-glacial lake, they’re drilling a test hole in the ice shelf, a little down the road from us. Our guide, Dennis, took us all through the modular and mobile stages of melting, purifying, heating, and pressurizing water to drill a hole through the ice. […]