Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We rejoin the world

On Wednesday morning, the wind kicks up a bit – we measure a bit over 10 miles/hour with a hand held anemometer. The Forgen wind generator turns around a few times. So, it’s time for …. kite flying

For better or worse, the wind died down pretty quickly, and the Forgen stopped turning. It is still somewhat cloudy, and we see an ice halo around the sun.

The weather on Mt. Discovery is better, and the IT crew land successfully. By prior agreement, we attempt to make VHF radio contact, without success. This is not encouraging news, since the 2.4 GHz internet link requires a better line-of-sight than the VHF radios. In desperation, we call MacOps in McMurdo, and ask them to act as a relay. We learn that the tower is up, but that work is required in McMurdo to make the link operational. Later, we get a text message (via Iridium phone) that the link is up, but have no success at connecting. When we call them, they suggest that we align the antenna to point at Mt. Discovery. We adjust the antenna, with no success. Then, they suggest setting the RF power on the link to zero, and then gradually raising it. This does not sound encouraging, but they talk Thorsten through the procedure and, to our surprise, it works – Internet! The photo below shows Martha and Thorsten working.

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