BARREL (Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses) is a multiple-balloon investigation that will study Earth's Radiation Belts.
Atmospheric losses of relativistic electrons play an important role in radiation belt dynamics; precipitation into the atmosphere may even completely deplete the radiation belts in some cases.
BARREL is the first NASA Living With a Star Geospace Mission of Opportunity, and will support NASA's RBSP (Radiation Belt Storm Probes) mission.
Hello from Antarctica! This is the first of daily status reports that I will send out from the BARREL team. This email was supposed to go out last night so this is yesterday's report. Internet is still not perfect here, but I will be trying to get these out each evening UTC.
BARREL Status Report #1 December 27, 2012
Our Halley team arrived at Halley VI in the evening of December 26th and got all cargo in the morning of the 27th. Today, we unpacked, had our electrical equipment checked out/ok'd by the base, set up our working space, and have the first payload out (1B) and ready for testing.
The SANAE team also arrived on station the evening of December 26! All of the cargo has arrived at the base (including squibs, but excepting the new batch of helium quads). We are currently unpacking the sensitive-flight cargo and have installed both Iridium antennas on the roof. We'll gain access to the remainder of our cargo Friday, though unpacking it and bringing it to the base may take a while as it's a ways away and lots of other groups' cargo needs to be unloaded first. We have the core of Payload 1J inside already and we will get it up and running on the bench today and tomorrow.
Both teams should have a payload ready to fly on Sunday (it's a race!) and will do some dry run launch practice. The flight readiness review is scheduled for Monday.
MOC updates - The Dartmouth backup MOC is now totally up and running and on backup generator outlet.