29 October 2010

The long awaited last Poker post

I have not updated the blog since I arrived home. Mostly because I felt bad about not really accomplishing anything.

When I left, the ELF system still has the weird noise pattern. The gain rises from -2V to +2V then falls sharply back to -2V like a sawtooth. The signal coming in from the coil is flat, then gradually increases in oscillation and falls back to flat. Even after repairing the soldering on the connector, it still had the noise. I tested the cable, and a signal was able to be sent through just fine. I test the cable and receiver box and it seems to work fine. That points toward the coil not working. The coil was able to pick up the 60Hz signal in the building, but as soon as I brought the coil outside of the building, the noise began. I couldn't determine what caused the noise, so I left the coil lightly buried and someone else is going up to try and fix it.

ELF coil under the tarp and lightly buried.

The ULF coils are working okay. The data we have been receiving is still variably noisy. Even after turning off the regrowth experiment, the noise level did not decrease. I asked the people working at Poker if anything started around August that would have caused the noise to start, but didn't get any insights.

The one on the left shows the first two days after I left (10 - 11 Oct) and the one of the right is this past Wednesday (27 Oct).

Lastly, I couldn't get any images of aurora. The cable to connect the imager to the computer had wires loose. My attempts to put it back together, did not work out well.

I have to remind myself that I will get better at doing this. This is only my second field trip and the first real one where I had intensive trouble shooting to do. Next time, I will be much more prepared.

I heard from Matt that I was an oddity at the Chatanika Lodge. I ordered a steak sandwich without the steak. I just wanted the onions, peppers, mushrooms and cheese on bread. Matt told me when he went in the day after I ordered it, they were talking about it as if I had a third arm.

On the day I left, there was a beautiful sunset, fox tracks, moose, and snow. Alaska was really rugged and I'm excited to go back. I submitted an abstract for a conference in Fairbanks in March of next year. If needed, I could probably do some field work while I'm there.

Gorgeous sunset! My camera can't even do it justice.

Fox tracks

Two moose who took their time getting out of the way of my car

Of course, the macro shot. I love it.

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