Antarctica Dispatch

Journal of my Antarctic experience working to support the United States Antarctic Program.



In addition to maintaining three permanent Antarctic stations, the National Science Foundation conducts Antarctic maritime scientific reseach with two research vessels, the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP) and the R/V Laurence M. Gould (LMG). The NBP makes an annual port call at McMurdo. While in port they make use of our telephone system and data network through radio & wirelss technology respectfully. A Communications Tech (Comms Tech) usually performs this installation, but I went along as I was interested in seeing the ship.

Thetwo antennas had to be mounted at the top of the ship. There's an area called the 'Ice Tower', an enclosed 'Crow's Nest' that we climbed above to mount the antennas. Unfortunately it wasn't as easy as 'Plug 'n Play', and we spent many times going up and down the ladders and decks between the computer room on the 'main' deck and the 'Ice Tower' troubleshooting the problem so in the end it proved worthwhile that I came along.

I was surprised to run into a former Polie, Greg. He was the Comms Tech at the South Pole with me last year. Fortunately an opportunity presented itself and he was hired on the NBP.
Hmm maybe I might be lucky someday.


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