Jul. 29th, 2008

jay: (traverse exploration ride)
Yesterday we started our main, er, thrust... the primary borehole. One difference from past years has been that we are taking core samples every 20-30cm, for a co-investigator interested in the hydrothermal structural layering. The soil is loose and there is very little ice to consolidate and cement it... so hole integrity and backfill are problems. Every bit or string change causes 5-10cm to collapse back down into the hole, which then has to be drilled out again.

And we found some software bugs... some from integration, others old ones latent in the original logic. Yesterday only the vibration-based diagnostics were working, and we made it to 89cm depth, but we were drilling until 9pm.

Today... [personal profile] compilerbitch worked steadily on fixes and mods in the morning. I saw little use in going back out with known-broken software. And an attempted telecon over lunch... the C-band was flaky, so we had to revert to IM back and forth to Ames. By 3pm, we were back out at the site, and have started drilling again. With full functionality... already have correctly identified and recovered from four different faults, out of six, and gone past a meter. Much improved... it is behaving correctly, but with the new software. :)

We've persuaded the airline to push back S. and J.'s departure by a day, so will extend drilling to Thursday noon instead of ending tomorrow. So I'm cautiously optimistic, after being quite concerned yesterday.

May 2009

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