Sauna-to-Pole, Leaving

On the 19th I left the pole, back to McMurdo and eventually home. In the previous evening, I had convinced a few people to join me spending some time building up warmth in the sauna and then dashing outside to the poles (and then right back to he sauna, of course).

Back in McMurdo there […]

Pole, Group Picture

The 18th was my last full day at the pole. So, that morning Don and I posed for the obligatory photos at the ceremonial and geographic south poles. Because this was also the peak of the Keck population, the group photo shoot rounded out my obligatory photos for the day.

Ze Choppa, etc

No huge event happened on the 17th. The weather had been nice (no clouds), so competition for time monopolizing the telescope was fierce. While waiting for my turn, I made some non-BLASTbus hardware for the mount.

I wandered around the telescope for more random pictures, and did the same at the station when I went […]

South Pole Contingency Marathon

The 16th was a Sunday, so many people were taking it easy. I spent a bit of time exploring the station and surroundings.

The most notable occurence of the day saw a few folks taking it the opposite of easy: they ran a marathon! Winners of the Christams Day “Race Around the World”, they had […]

K1 Closing, After Midnight

My post for the 14th left the K1 closing process when the 14th ended. The closing process did not end, so here are all events that took place after midnight. After successful closing and pumpout overnight, the cryostat’s pulse tube was connected in the afternoon, and cooling started.

K1 Debugging and Reclosing

While the K1 cryostat was closed on the 13th, the 14th was spent debugging issues with the waveplate rotator. At the end of the day, it was ready to go, but at this point the process didn’t end until well past midnight. But, because my posts are sorted by day, this only includes everything up […]

Dark Sector Lab

On the 13th I took a visit to the Dark Sector Lab (DSL). (The “Dark Sector” is the name for the whole zone across the skiway, where the telescopes live. Dark, here, is used in the radio sense: things like walkie talkies and wireless ethernet aren’t allowed.) DSL houses Keck’s single-receiver predecessor BICEP2, and the […]

K1 Insert Assembly

On the 12th, I was witness to assembly of the insert for the second Keck receiver: K1. This numbering was the source of much consternation and bikeshedding at the daily breakfast meetings (especially because the first receiver was K3…or the zeroth receiver, depending who you ask…and maybe on the time of day too).

Anyway, unlike […]

Stanford Christmas

On my second day at pole (11 Jan) the folks from Stanford (Walt, Sarah, and Jamie) received a box of Christmas treats. Most notably, this includes toy tops that make lights and play Axel F (the theme from Beverly Hills Cop!).

Going to Pole

A while ago (the 10th of January) I finally left for pole, after being delayed an extra weekend in McMurdo. I flew in an LC-130 (C-130 = Hercules, L = with skis!). During the flight, I spent a while crowded around the windows, with people taking pictures of the Transantarctic Mountains.

Upon arrival, I spent […]