Arctic Diary Week Four
April 20 April 26, 2002
||We have really made
ourselves at home on the ice. An Arctic fox has discovered us, and
visits our camp regularly, looking for food around our kitchen tent
and garbage area. His white fur which provides him with camouflage
in the snow, will soon turn darker to blend in with the summer
|After spending long
hours working outside in the cold, everyone likes to gather in the kitchen
tent to enjoy hot, homemade food, and to discuss the day's events.
||Sometimes when the science
tent is crowded, we work on our laptop computers in our accommodation tents.
Since our tents are on the sea ice and the heat from our stoves rises up,
it can be cold on the floor and hot near the roof, so we hang our clothing
on ropes near the ceiling to warm up and dry out.|
|One of the few tents
without a stove is our outhouse tent, so no one spends a long time in
||We have been running many
different experiments using underwater sound sources and listening devices.
We sometimes have to transport equipment by snowmobile several kilometres
away from the camp, over rough ice.|
surveying equipment that measures distances by timing a reflected laser beam
is used to determine exact locations for our tests.
||In order to get the sound
sources underneath the ice, we must use an auger to drill holes through
the ice like a corkscrew. This is often done by hand, but if the ice is
very thick, a motor is attached to turn the auger, and a tall tripod is
used to pull out the long drill stem.|
larger holes, a hot water drill is used. This machine re-circulates water,
quickly heats it to a high temperature, and pumps it out of a hose with special
cutting heads to melt through the ice.
||The ocean environment affects
how sound travels and how it reflects off ice. Before we run our tests, we
lower instruments into the sea that tell us information about the ocean environment
such as temperature and salt content.|
types of sound-generating sources are lowered into the ocean through the ice holes.
The ability of our acoustic listening devices to pick up these sounds is carefully
monitored by test equipment back in the science tent.
||If anything does not work properly,
the technologists must find the problem and repair it right away. They have brought
lots of supplies, because we are thousands of kilometres from the nearest hardware
Week Three / Arctic Diary / Week Five