Today is my second day at Summit Station, which is right in the middle of the country, up at 10,530 ft on the ice sheet.
I'm currently snuggled in my sleeping bag rated for -40 deg F, in my tent designed for polar conditions. It's pretty cozy in here. The sun is always up here in the summer, hearing up the tent throughout the day. While I sleep the sun lowers, and temperatures drop. So far the coldest it's been is -34 deg F with wind chill. But I've been pretty cozy. No, really! I have a great coat and plenty of long underwear. Maybe what's more shocking is that I have a very weak wireless connection in my tent!
We're here to test out a new idea to improve on existing ideas for neutrino telescopes. Neutrinos from outside our galaxy interact with ice and produce radio waves. The neutrinos can tell us about the most extreme, most energetic environments in the universe. We plan to use the neutrinos to do astronomy.
We're going to lower -- not drop! as my friend Bob likes to remind us -- an antenna array down a very deep borehole in the ice sheet. We'll add together the signals from the eight antennas to improve our sensitivity. Along the way, we'll make measurements that determine whether Summit Station is a good place for neutrino hunting.
So far we've been able to find our cargo, set up our work tent, and dig out the borehole. All in one day, while still adjusting to altitude. I'm exhausted!