Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Canadians Search for Alien Life ...

...okay maybe not ... here is the real story:

A group of scientists from Environment Canada is working here in Barrow as part of the "OASIS" campaign that we are also a part of. They have designed and built a portable sled system chock full of atmospheric measurement equipment...things like ozone monitors and mercury analyzers and meteorological parameters, etc. The sled is lovingly called OOTI (Out On The Ice). It is meant to be snowmachined into place almost anywhere you'd like to go, and then it can be left to measure away while the scientists go back to the warmth of their labs.

The OOTI sled is currently being tested on a lagoon about 6 km away from BASC. Communication with the sled is done by radio signals, picked up by the strange looking antenna in the picture above (being used by Andrew Sheppard). Problem is, there needs to be a direct line of sight between the antenna and the sled ... which was not available down the hall in the Environment Canada lab ... so they came to our lab to try things out our window.

Alas, no luck.

So now the Canadians are off to find a better place to mount their antenna and look for alien life...oops...I mean, communicate with their instruments.

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