Thursday, 22 August 2013

Thursday 22nd August 2013

It was a really nice day this morning so I went for a walk around the station taking photos. I dropped into the Aeronomy building too look for resistors for my amplifier and found the only 5.1 ohm resistors on the whole station; what luck. While in aeronomy, I found this fantastic work of art that highlighted how resourceful you have to be to work down here. Out of necessity someone had crafted some electronic equipment out of an old (very old) Fosters Larger beer can. I just had to get a photo of this little gem.

Polar engineering

Aeronomy building

Aeronomy is the science of the upper region of the atmosphere and this is another science building where we are responsible for looking after the instruments and experiments. There are two experiments running in aeronomy at the moment; a Riometer array and a All-sky Fabry-Perot Spectrometer.

The Riometer array is an instrument used to quantify the amount of electromagnetic wave ionospheric absorption in the atmosphere as it measures radio noise emanating from distant stars and galaxies. This information can be used in forecasting space weather and for making high frequency propagation prediction maps.


Riometer antenna

The all-sky imaging Fabry-Perot Spectrometer is capable of recording independent
spectra from many tens of locations across the sky simultaneously. Initial analysis has focused on the large-scale daily and average behaviour of winds and temperatures derived from observations of the 630.0 nm air glow line of atomic oxygen, originating from a broad layer centred around 240 km altitude, in the ionospheric F-region.

The all-sky imaging Fabry-Perot Spectrometer 
While walking around out the back of the tank house I found an old weathered axe handle that will make a good handle for the ice axe I am making. I will turn it down on the wood lathe to make it round. 

Back in the workshop I replaced the resistors in my amplifier and then continued on with some more auditing till I got bored. After work I went down to the transmitter building to set the standby bias current on my amplifier (after replacing the resistors) and found out the power supply wasn’t working. What a bummer, something else to fix. The series regulator was not working and it must be one of the transistors gone on strike. While taking some measurements with a multimeter I slipped with a probe and managed to short out the rectified 60v blowing a terminal off and frying a crock clip producing heaps of smoke. After switching off the power I rushed to open both doors to blow the smoke out of the room before the fire alarm went off and everybody having to muster. Bugger, now I have to fix the fault I just created before getting back to the original fault. 

I was so annoyed with myself; I just packed up and called it quits for the day. Tonight’s foreign movie was a bit creepy with this guy constantly stalking his girl friend and I didn't think much of it but latter we watched three episodes of Trailer Park Boys laughing our eye balls out all the way through.

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