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October 20, 2005

October 20, 2005:

ATIC is getting ready for its third mission to the continent of Antarctica and we are anticipating that it will be the longest, best flight of the program to date.  

New this season is the way we have shipped the instrument and support equipment.   In particular, we purchased a C-Container and Jeffery and Robin of NSBF modified it to provide a secure mounting arrangement for the ATIC instrument.  This new arrangement has several advantages.  First, it provides a much more secure environment for the instrument to travel in and eliminates the need for several old, leaky wooden crates.  Second, we can now ship the instrument assembled in our laboratory frame and, theoretically, once we reach Antarctica we can just roll the instrument out of the crate and turn it on.  We will see how close we come to this ideal situation.

Over the last two years NASA has invested heavily in upgrading the LDB facility at Williams Field and over the winter the final stage assembly of the new buildings has been completed.  These buildings include two, huge payload bays, separate buildings for the riggers and telemetry folks, a mechanical build that includes flush toilets and a set of electrical generators.  With each payload building being 60 feet long by 30 feet wide, we expect to have plenty of room for ATIC.

The LSU crew leaves Baton Rouge on October 26 and, after spending a few days in ChristChurch, NZ, should deploy to the ice at the beginning of November.

 


The assembled ATIC mounted in its new shipping container 


The new buildings of the LDB facility at Williams Field in Antarctica 

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