Today has been (and continues to be — lots of daylight on the North Slope right now!) a day filled with profiling of the atmosphere.  We started right at 8 am this morning, and have been doing our best to get profiles every half hour, only breaking for meals.  As the figure below shows, so far, we’re doing pretty well!

Temperature profiles from flights flown so far today.  We hope to keep going until 930 pm!

Temperature profiles from flights flown so far today. We are trying to keep going until 930 pm!

Because we’re still having some issues with our autopilot and interference, we’ve done most of this profiling under manual control.  I can’t tell you how happy I am to have Will and Nathan along on this trip — they do an incredible job safely flying this small platform up to heights where I can hardly make it out against the sky.  The photo below shows what the aircraft looks like at 100 m altitude — but we have routinely seen flights up to 500 m and beyond under manual control!  Incredible…

The DataHawk soaring at around 200 m above the surface, as seen from below.

The DataHawk 2 soaring at around 100 m above the surface, as seen from below.

Gijs preparing a DataHawk 2 for launch.

Gijs preparing a DataHawk 2 for launch.

The DataHawk 2 preparing to land, with the AMF3 and hangar in the background.

The DataHawk 2 preparing to land, with the AMF3 and hangar in the background.

Amazing to think that tomorrow we already pack up our gear to prepare to return home.  While it seems like our time here has been relatively short, when I think back to arriving in Anchorage, it already seems like a very long time ago.  We’re calling around to the various oil companies in order to do our best to anticipate any upcoming rig moves — we really don’t want to get stuck behind one and miss our flights home.  I think that the whole team is feeling ready to get back to Colorado and a bit more summer weather.

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