Virtual Geology Field Trip to Heard Island

Dr. Bill Mitchell (AE0EE) setting up a Gigapan image at the Windy City outcrop, Heard Island. Image credit: Carlos Nascimento NP4IW

Dr. Bill Mitchell (AE0EE) setting up a Gigapan image at the Windy City outcrop, Heard Island.
Image credit: Carlos Nascimento NP4IW

Over at The Inquisitive Rockhopper blog, Bill (AE0EE) has put together a series of posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) showcasing interesting geologic features and outcrops at Heard Island, including Windy City (seen above). These are meant as a virtual field trip, providing access to Heard Island for all those who are unable to go themselves. The last post in the series is about Bill’s favorite outcrop on the island, and has a corresponding video that provides additional perspectives on it.

In large part, this geo-imaging project was made possible through a partnership with Prof. Callan Bentley of Northern Virginia Community College, supported by the GEODE project through NSF DUE 1323419. Prof. Bentley advertised on his blog that he had a robotic camera mount for taking high-resolution panoramic pictures—and the software to stitch them together—available to scientists traveling to interesting locations to take pictures to make these places more accessible. After a brief email exchange, we secured the loan of one of the units for the Heard Island expedition. Although the conditions in the field made it difficult to get the camera out, we hope that you will enjoy the results of this partnership.

Log Reconciliation Nets New QSO’s

download (20)

As promised, once we received the laptops back from Heard Island, we would reconcile all laptops with the master N1MM+ log, and more than 100 QSO’s have been recovered. We hope you were the lucky one – and if you have any questions – please contact our QSL Manager, Tim, M0URX:

https://vk0ek.org/qsl/

We would like to thank Pete, W6OP, and Mike, KJ4Z for their most excellent efforts finding and recovering these QSO’s. The majority were recovered from a failed laptop that did not sync with the N1MM+ Master log.

Recovered QSOs have been uploaded to OQRS http://www.m0urx.com/oqrs/logsearch.php

They will be uploaded to Clublog and LOTW very soon.

VK0EK Log Analysis

Contacts by day and hour (UTC), colored by band.  Can you spot the geomagnetic storm?

Contacts by day and hour (UTC), colored by band. Can you spot the geomagnetic storm?

As an avid user of the statistical software R, Bill (AE0EE) did some analysis of the VK0EK log database. The Log Analysis (88 kB PDF) contains many tables and a few figures, which give glimpses into the statistical side of the VK0EK operation.

In the data, it is clear that the there was a strong diurnal cycle to propagation, and a sharp decline in the maximum usable frequency in the late afternoon local (around 1300 UTC). Additionally, the effects of the geomagnetic storm can be seen in the hour-by-hour time series shown above, where on April 3rd and 4th, the high rates typical of other afternoons did not materialize.

Cape Town to Heard Island: Video from Bill, AE0EE

Bill, AE0EE, has created a video which encompasses the voyage of the Braveheart from Cape Town through the landing on Heard Island. In it, not only is there the rolling of the sea, but the deployment of two types of scientific buoys. First up is an ARGO diving buoy, followed by a NOAA drift buoy. The birds seen as the ship arrives at Atlas Cove are the endemic Heard Island cormorants. Upon reaching the island, our team was greeted by king penguins.