|November 12, 2000
-- Work continues on getting the ATIC instrument ready for flight.
Joining the crew during the last week are Mark Christl, Jim Kousnetsov
and Michael Stewart.
Jim and Mark have proceeded to unpack the Silicon Matrix detector and
test it to determine how well it survived the trip. At this time
it appears that only a small number of channels (around 1%) actually
need to be repaired. Initial testing of the calorimeter, S3 and S2
detectors have been completed and essentially all observed problems have
been repaired. Work is now focusing on finishing up the S1
detector. Our plan is to complete this detector checkout and
assemble the instrument stack within the next 5 or 6 days.
On the pressure vessel, both hemispheres have been cleaned and a new
pressure seal bladder installed. Within the next day or so we
should have our first leak check of the vessel. If this goes well
then we will try a longer term leak check at a higher internal pressure.
The view at the top of this page shows a panarama view of the
Williams Field area where the LDB payloads are assembled and launched.
All of the landmarks in the background, Observation Hill, Castle Rock,
Mt. Erebus, Mt. Terra Nova and Mt. Terror, are located on Ross Island.
Mt. Erebus and Mt. Terror were named by James Ross after the two ships
in his squadron when he discovered Ross Island in the 1840's.
Williams Field is located on the Ross Ice Shelf about 8 miles from
McMurdo Station. As you can see the facility has all the comforts
of home including a power generating station, areas for sleeping, a
galley for eating and several latrines (that's correct there are no
sewer lines on the ice shelf). In this view only the top portions
of the telemetry (TM) building and the assembly barn can be seen as over
the years snow has built up around the building and every year they must
be dug out.
Check out ATIC Pictures for some of our latest images.
Mount Erebus as seen from Williams