2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Operation and maintenance of a CTBT class infrasound array at Windless Bight


Photo by Peter Rejcek. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library.
T-396-M Research Location(s): Windless Bight

Summary

Event Number:
T-396-M
NSF / DTRA Agreement

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Randolph Jones


Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Lukas J Blom
ljblom@alaska.edu
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Geophysics Institute


Location

Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Windless Bight


Description

This project operates, maintains, upgrades, calibrates, and services the joint U.S. Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) infrasound array at Windless Bight. Windless Bight's location on the Ross Ice Shelf is unique for its low wind levels, which makes infrasound detection possible. Infrasound can detect volcanic eruptions, winds over distant mountain ranges, large storms at sea, auroral and meteor events, earthquakes, and avalanches, as well as human-caused events, like large explosions, at great distances from the sound-producing events. Detection of events occurring worldwide are routinely made at the Windless Bight site.


Field Season Overview

Four participants will service the CTBT infrasound array and hybrid power system at Windless Bight over four weeks. The team will typically stay at the field site, but will intermittently return two team members to McMurdo Station for resupplies and overnight stays. The field camp consists of two Polarhavens, an outhouse, and individual mountain tents. The site is accessed by snowmobiles and Mattrack vehicles. ASC Fleet Ops works to groom the access road to the site and provide berm support for infrastructure at the site. Year-round on-site support is provided by the ASC Research Associate, who monitors the array's equipment and servers in McMurdo Station's Building 159, and occasionally visits Windless Bight during winter months for maintenance and troubleshooting. ASC will provide 500 gallons of JP8 to refuel the power supply for the array this season. One to two T-396 participants will be joining G-078-M AFTAC for hybrid power system maintenance at Mt. Newall and Bull Pass after CTBT work is complete.


Deploying Team Members

  • Riley Bickford
  • Lukas Blom (PI)
  • Dara Merz
  • Andrew Winkelman