VK0EK – March 6 – April 20, 2016

The equipment assembled in California leaves for the East Coast, where it will join the rest of the shipment to Cape Town, South Africa. (Left to right, top to bottom) The individul stations undergo final checks, the satellite terminals get one last checkout, the various cases were thoroughly cleaned according to biosecurity protocols, Rich KY6R and Dave K3EL assemble the “station in a box” (eight of them), coax fills three cases, all 18 cases are filled and numbered, Bob KK6EK makes final check on the 5 pallets to be shipped, and then they’re on their way.
Nov. 23, 2015. After more three years of planning and more than a year of development, the core operating equipment has left California for the collection point on the East Coast. The equipment includes all eight radio stations, all the coax, living items, scientific lab and supplies, and landing and emergency gear. The 31 cases and other items filled five pallets, which are now traveling by truck to Palmyra, VA, to be combined with the tents, antennas, generators, bunk beds, and other equipment already collected there. On Dec. 7, the entire collection will be loaded in a container that will sail for Cape Town, South Africa, awaiting the team’s arrival around March 1, 2016.

The testing, packaging, and shipping of the equipment required considerable effort and coordination. Team members Dave K3EL, Jim N6TQ, Carlos NP4IW, and Bob KK6EK were joined by California team members Rich KY6R, Mike KJ4Z, Jack K6JEB, Peter W6DEI, Elliot N6PF, and Bob’s XYL Kay. Two joggers, Chris Cubanske and Jason Vitucci, were “conscripted” on the spot to assist in moving the heavy pallets to the truck. The transportation was arranged by Kassie Nichols, The Freight Rate Company in Florida.


Heard Island team member Jim Colletto watches the drone hover, stabilized by signals from 7 satellites. The drone held its position within inches. It will be used to obtain images of terrain inaccessible to the expedition field parties.
Nov. 21, 2015. A local Walnut Creek businessman has provided a high-performance drone to enable photodocumentation of the major changes in the glaciers, lagoons, rock cliffs, and sediment resulting from climate change over the past decade.

Mr. Dave Cloonan, founder and owner of Insight Aerial Technologies, provided the craft without cost to the expedition. The company uses a fleet of drones to make aerial surveys of properties and buildings for planning, construction, and public information.

The value of the drone to the Heard Island Expedition is that it will enable us to obtain images of features that are inaccessible on foot. Satellite images show clear evidence of major changes since the last scientific expedition, including glacial retreat, opening of new underground streams carrying massive maounts of glacial meltwater, the filling of a major new lagoon, and

geomorpholical features such as slumping, rockfalls, and changes in sediment deposits. With the drone we have the potential to obtain confirmation of these changes, and also to discover new changes that might have occurred since the most recent satellite images (2014). At the extremely high rate of change of the subAntarctic environment, it is imperative to observe and document as many climate-related changes as possible, and the IAT drone should help us do that. We sincerely thank Dave Cloonan for this sponsorship. [Source: http://www.insightaerialtech.com]


The EPIC series of robotic camera mounts capture photos using almost any digital camera; GigaPan Stitch Software automatically combines the thousands of images taken into a single image; and Gigapan.com enables the unique mega-high resolution viewing experience.

Nov. 19, 2015. We are pleased to report that Prof. Callan Bentley, an Assistant Professor of Geology at the Northern Virginia Community College, will provide a GigaPan camera mount to the expedition, a device and software that will enable taking extreme high-resolution images on Heard Island.

GigaPan EPIC robotic mounts empower cameras to take hundreds, even thousands of photos, which are combined to create one highly detailed image with amazing depth and clarity. It will scan a high-resolution camera across a programmed field, capturing hundreds of very high resolution images (“facets”). Software then will join the facets to form one very large (=high resolution) image, with up to many gigapixels. Such images can capture fine details of the glaciers and rocky cliffs of the volcanos on Heard Island, providing valuable information for calibrating and interpreting satellite images, espeically of climate change effects. [Source: http://www.gigapan.com]

Callan Bentley is an Assistant Professor of Geology at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus. He is the Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor of Geology (2015-2017), the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, NOVA honored him with the Presidential Sabbatical Award in 2013, he received the Biggs Award for Geoscience Teaching Excellence from the Geoscience Education Division of the Geological Society of America in 2014, and the recipient of the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award in 2015. Callan teaches introductory geology courses there, Callan has developed new courses including Snowball Earth, Regional Field Geology of the Northern Rockies, Regional Field Geology of the Canadian Rockies, and Regional Field Geology of Eastern California. In addition to publishing in the professional scientific literature, he contributes book reviews, travel stories, and cartoons to EARTH magazine and was a contributor to five geology and Earth science textbooks published by
Pearson. He has become known as an innovator in digital geology, in particular for the use of GigaPan images of outcrops and samples, a technique that allows “virtual field experiences” for distance learners and students with disabilities. Contact information: http://www.nvcc.edu/home/cbentley/ [Source:http://cdn.vccs.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/callan_bentley_bio.pdf].


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