What a crazy last couple of days. The winds were so strong and visibility was so poor that we could not access the site for a day and a half. We had a power outage early this morning, so diligently tried to get into the site since the winds had subsided. It took almost 3 hours to plow the road to the site because of all the snow that had drifted over the last couple of days.
Once we got to the site, it was quite cold. Since the power had been out for about 9 hours, the heat was not pumping in the facility. I quickly assessed the samplers and fixed them once the power had turned back on. I also had to fix one of the inlets to the sampler because it was packed full of snow. It only took me about 3 hours to get everything up and running correctly again!
This is what part of the inside of my sampler looks like. That disc has what is called a “sample substrate” wrapped around it. It is basically a very thin strip of plastic that has a sticky surface that enables aerosols to adhere to it. The disc rotates slowly over time as air is pulled into the circular chamber through a very small slit in the tip of it. As a result, aerosol particles are “impacted” on the top of the disc. Since the disc rotates, I get a timeline of collected aerosol particles to use in my lab back in Boulder, CO for analysis. The plan is to conduct a type of analysis that tells us if the aerosols are good or bad at impacting how ice would form in Arctic clouds.
These funnels covered in green netting, and the silver can at the top of the photo, are the inlets to the different samplers I have running inside. Basically, a strong vacuum pump is pulling air to the samplers, through tubing that connects to these inlets. That air that is being pulled in through this system contains aerosol particles, so tiny that you cannot see them with the naked eye. The inlets look like this to prevent snow and ice from getting into the samplers. The green material is actually mosquito netting. These inlets blow around in the cold wind, and the netting prevents ice from building up and clogging the inlets.
Even though there were issues with the power outage, everything worked out and it turned out to be a beautiful Arctic day. The temperature reached up to 0 degrees Fahrenheit and there were almost no winds, what a treat! I took the opportunity to take some photos of the site, and with “Harold” at the entrance of the camp 🙂 To top it off, it was cheeseburger night at the mess hall, YUM!!
Looks like the afternoon, right? This photo was actually taken at 11:30 believe it or not. The sun has crazy angles this time of year! This photo was also taken on top of the instrument deck facing the hanger at the site.
Beautiful blue bird day! I was a happy camper, complete with half frozen hair 😀
This is the view towards the Arctic Ocean, which as you can probably tell, is completely covered by ice this time of year. Those weird shaped white things in the photo are different kinds of radars to look at clouds and precipitation.
This is Harold. He makes sure you abide by the speed limit when entering camp (called the “NOC”, which stands for Nikaitchuq Operations Camp operated by ENI Petroleum).
And finally, CHEESEBURGER NIGHT at the mess hall! Complete with curly fries and a Nutella milkshake!