Due to continued storms rolling through McMurdo, we’re still sitting pretty in Christchurch. It’s a frustrating time, knowing that the delayed fly out means we will have less time on the ice to complete our work. The upside is that we have a little longer in the land of functioning internet, making it easier to do other work. Yesterday I finally got the Raspberry Shake and Boom configured and tested, ensuring it can operate in offline mode and continue recording data when unattended on the sea ice. This is possible due to the excellent support from Raspberry Shake engineers and the help of Icefin engineer, Chad Ramey. Below you can see some example waveforms, showing the three slow and three fast test signals. That’s a fancy way to say I banged my fist on the table it was sitting on.
The next step will be to finish building the hardware. Lead Icefin engineer, Matt Meister, has been helping draw up the design for a custom deployment package. We’ll be installing the geophone and infrasound sensors along with the Raspberry Shake board and Raspberry Pi computer in a box that’s frozen into the ice in a small depression. With strategically placed heaters near the circuitry, we’re hoping to keep the computers from freezing and the geophone spike below 0 degrees C. The batteries will be housed in a separate, larger box that doesn’t need to be frozen in place. While we’re hoping this kit works, we’re also curious to find the shortcomings with this design so we can iterate and optimize it over time.
Meanwhile, the group has been trying to make the most of our time in the city. In between long hours scamming wifi from coffee shops and hunched over our laptops in hotel lobbies, we got together for high tea at the Crowne Plaza. They let us enjoy the fancy sandwiches and scones, despite the fact that we’re all living out of layover bags that were originally intended to keep us in clean clothes for about 3 days.
With the prospect of a group meeting from the laundromat tomorrow, here’s hoping we make it to the ice soon!