1.2. Barrow Observatory
D. Endres and M. Gaylord
The 1996-1997 season was a time of growth for arctic research in general
and for the Barrow Observatory, Pt. Barrow, Alaska (BRW) in particular.
Upgraded instrumentation and data acquisition systems at the observatory increased
the quality and accessibility of data to researchers in Boulder, Colorado.
Many programs can now be controlled, and software modified, from Boulder to
meet special needs as conditions change in the sampling regime. Internet
access for most programs has led to a greater interest in BRW data than ever
before with many requests for data being filled from the CMDL homepage.
The observatory building has undergone a major renovation with
the addition of new windows, doors, paint inside and out, and two new entryways
to allow for storage of compressed gas tanks. Previously, tanks were stored
at the DEW Line site 0.8 km away and tanks were hauled by a snow machine when
needed. The new storage area will permit easier access to carrier and
calibration gas tanks during periods of inclement weather.
Personnel at the station remained unchanged since the last summary report,
showing the longest period of stability since the station began operation in
1973. The station chief continues to serve on the Barrow Restoration Advisory
Board for military base closures as well as being a member of the Barrow Environmental
Observatory (BEO) Management Committee. The BEO Management Committee was
appointed by the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium to coordinate research in
the BEO and advise the Consortium on matters of scientific interest.
All vehicles ran well throughout the year. The 1990 Chevy Blazer was
scheduled to be replaced by General Services Administration (GSA) but was in
good enough condition to warrant keeping it in operation at least another year,
saving several thousand dollars in shipping.
When older wooden windows in CMDL housing unit B would no longer seal, new
high-efficiency thermal windows were procured and will be installed as soon
as weather permits. The windows in unit A will be replaced in 1999.
Since the house was connected to city water in 1995, there have been no problems
with freezing pipes; therefore, the water storage tank in the entryway was cut
into manageable-size pieces and removed. The walls were painted, new vinyl
flooring was installed, and lights and outlets were added.
During 1996-1997, BRW was visited by 285 registered guests. Among these
were researchers from China and Japan. There were two different television
crews at BRW, one from an Arkansas news program and the other from a Japanese
science show. There were several visits by personnel from the National
Science Foundation (NSF), the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS),
and the U.S. Air Force.
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