Sunday, 25 November 2012

Back on track in Utsteinen

Our flight with the Ilyushin went like foreseen. Take-Off in Cape Town was on Wednesday at 2330 local time. Together with us were around 50 other scientists from the German, Finnish, British, Swedish, Indian and Norwegian stations. Around two hours before landing everybody takes on his polar clothing what creates a bit of a mess in the aircraft because you have to fetch your bag with the clothes at the rear of the seats, change somehow at your narrow seat or in the narrow gangway. Anyway, after changing, everybody is longing for the landing. 5 and half hours after departure we landed safely at Novo Air Base (see also the image above; the Ilyushin has a camera in its nose and the film is shown in the cargo cabin). It is a 3 km ice runway, usable by heavy cargo aircrafts like the Ilyushin. Once landed, the cargo is unloaded and everybody helps to separate the boxes and all other equipment to the individual piles of each station destination. Half of our group had the feeder flight (smaller Basler propeller aircrafts) to the Belgian station at 7am local time, 9am Belgian time. The other half had to wait for next day because we had so much cargo (volume and weight) that it had to be split. Luckily I was on the first feeder flight. After one and a half hour we landed (bit rough) at Utsteinen where we unloaded our equipment and had a breakfast.

Since then I benefited from the quiet, calm weather to set up quite a few of my instruments. The aethalometer, TEOM and nephelometer in the specific shelter are already operational. Yesterday I set up on the station’s roof the ozone spectrophotometer and the sun photometer. And they are running well. That is really satisfying. The total ozone values are on the high side, above 350 Dobson units. However, UV radiation is high and next will be to calculate the UV index. The forecast says that the next days weather stays quiet and rather sunny. The disadvantage is that if there is only little wind, energy falls fast short as a lot of work has to be done. Therefore, the generators are often on what I see immediately in my aerosol data. Surely, these data I do not want, but one can see it as test for my instruments because it is so contrasting data to the otherwise pure air. 


  1. Here we had some storm winds last weekend.
    Now it's cold and rainy.
    Have a nice time down under and much luck with your work.

  2. Hi Alexander,
    Be careful with the UV radiations, don't forget to put your sun cream on ! ;-)
    Best of luck and Hi to everyone.