|Posted on Feb 04, 2013 12:16:24 AM | Maria Navarro | 1 Comments ||
Day 22: Pre-Flight
Today I’m getting ready for my first Science Flight. On day 15, I described a little bit our pre-flight procedure; but different from that time, we are adding some temperature logs around our aircraft zone. The temperature logs are small devices that monitor the temperatures wireless; and once the data is collected we can quickly download it to our computer.
For us, it is very important to have a good estimation of the temperatures around our instruments, because there is a risk of freezing the canisters’ valves if temperatures reach very cold values. Could you imagine this scenario?... it would be impossible for us to open the bottles and collect air samples. But, do not panic!!!! Right now we count with heater cables that keep our instrument warm. It’s just that we need to have a better idea of the ideal temperature to turn our heaters on and off.
One of the five temperature log devices we use in AWAS aircraft zone.
Day 23: Science team meeting
Similar to what we did on day 10, today we had our Science team meeting in preparation for our first Science Flight. As I mentioned before, we usually talk about flight plans, science targets and meteorological issues. But, today we also had the opportunity of seeing preliminary results from the Mini-DOAS team. It was interesting to hear how the instruments work (check Max’s blog if you want to have a better idea), and see that their results from the range flight were in reasonable agreement with last year’s data. Way to go Mini-DOAS team!!!
Today, we also were able to confirm our suspicion…Yes, AWAS will be powered down every time the aircraft descends. Even though it is a little inconvenient for us (yes, we will have to be awake for the 24 hours the flight lasts, as the instrument could need to be powered down at any time) I still believe it would be a wonderful experience. We can find out how our instrument behaves during sequential power switch, and how clean our samples would be after each interruption. As I said it before, the beauty of our work is the fact there is always something new to learn.
Science team meeting (a lot of smart people together….)
Max Spolaor (from Mini-DOAS team) showing how their instrument works.
Day 24: First Science Flight (CANCELLED)
OMG! yes, there is no other expression…our flight was cancelled. We already knew that this could be happen, as the meteorological data from our science meeting showed the probability of icy conditions. But, still we had the hope of a change to the weather, or at least, proceed with the flight but return before the conditions deteriorate. In any case, I felt that it was not meant to be. My heart was broken…but hey, at least I could go back to sleep and try to recover some “beauty” sleep.
New schedule for flight: Tuesday Jan 29th, 2013…stay tuned
Yes, it looks like we are not going anywhere under this cloudy condition…
The weather looks awful here!
Day 25-26: More data analysis and Media day
The weekend is approaching, but we still have tons of things to do. I started my day by looking at some data from the chemical analysis of our canisters. Last weekend we tested our new gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC-MS), and here is the fun part: to calculate the area of the peaks provided by this instrument. It is a simple procedure since the location of the peaks and an estimation of the area was previously determined by the software. We just need to double check that those peaks are the correct ones, and that the areas are calculated right (we need precision on our compound concentrations)
In the mean time, I got a little distracted because today was Media day! I was really impressed with the amount of photographers, reporters and videographers who came to the hangar (yes, we are going to be famous!) The interviews were given to our principal investigators, and the hangar looked beautiful surrounded by posters about our instruments and missions. I am not sure where all these media presentations are going to be posted, but I would love to see them. If I find the information I will pass it along, so you can also enjoy the program.
My last news for today, and I believe is one of the most important, is that I’m going to take Sunday off! I’m going to take advantage of this free day and go for a short road trip with my colleagues from Harvard (Jasna Pittman and Bruce Daube). We are heading to Red Rock Canyon and Mt. Whitney!!!...see! Not everything is work…There is also entertainment on the ATTREX mission.
GC-MS Data Analysis
Reporters during Media Day
Tags : ATTREX