Today was our last day flying at Oliktok.  Before I get into the day’s activities, here’s a bit of information on ERASMUS, “by the numbers”: Number of days spent on site at Oliktok: 13.5 Total number of flights: 163 Total number of flight hours: 23.2 Highest altitude flown: 850 meters Lowest altitude flown (not during… Read More

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… Read More

Every morning since we arrived here, I’ve woken up at the same time (6:20 AKDT) in order to have a little time to wake up before our daily operations briefing at 6:45 AKDT.  This morning, I woke up looked outside, saw sunshine, and went to take a shower.  During that time, I formulated a plan… Read More

As conveyed, we are struggling to use our aircraft to the extent we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to come home empty handed.  Although it sometimes seems a bit futile, over the last two days, we’ve continued to launch and fly the aircraft and let them collect data for as long… Read More

When we set out for Oliktok, things seemed somewhat straightforward — the airplanes had just come off of consecutive campaigns to Utah and Japan where the team did not have to use the remote control transmitter once.  It was basically a “launch and monitor” situation where the aircraft’s autopilot did all of the flying, including… Read More

This morning I made the decision to transition to the operational mode that we had been hoping to execute from day one.  The long hours of troubleshooting the radar issues have been wearing on everyone and today we split up into two teams, with each team taking two profiles (one per hour) at a time… Read More

Well, just like that, this two-week campaign is half over.  It has gone quickly, but not at all as I had envisioned it going in.  The issues that we’ve been having with radar interference have really made for some long days.  Coming in, the plan was for our four team members to split up into… Read More

Having flown the series of profiles yesterday afternoon and evening, we were very much looking forward to more of the same today.  When we woke up this morning, the winds had died down, but unfortunately there was a very thick blanket of shallow, but very dense fog.  While this would have been very exciting to… Read More

The reality of field work is sometimes an ugly one.  In an ideal world, you show up to your site, the weather’s good, your instruments and tools work, and you get a fantastic dataset.  That, through preparation of your team and your equipment (and usually by a little bit of luck on the weather side)… Read More

We woke  up to a windy morning — somewhat surprising, given the weather forecast — but winds were at a low enough level that we made the decision to prepare to fly.  Before we could get out the door, however, Al let us know that the rig that had been stuck had made it to… Read More