Following their maintenance trip to Clyde River, the engineers Marci Detwiller and Kevin Krieger traveled directly to Rankin Inlet (layover in Iqaluit) and met up with our third engineer, Keith Kotyk. From July 5th until July 21st they performed maintenance on the ropes, towers, antennas and electronics at Rankin Inlet. Over 4000 feet of rope was replaced.
Some other tasks performed:
- Upgraded computers to new industrial rated rack mount computers
- Installed firewall on a new network switch
- Repaired and reinforced cable tray
- Fixed several transmitters
- Installed heater relay board and temperature sensors to monitor and control building temperature
- UAV flights for aerial photography
In addition, one of the two SuperDARN Canada PIs, Kathryn McWilliams, traveled to Rankin Inlet near the end of the maintenance trip to meet with the Rankin inlet Municipality and gave an update on the SuperDARN project.
See some photos below:
The SuperDARN team at the big Inukshuk in Rankin Inlet. Left to Right: Kathryn McWilliams, Marci Detwiller, Kevin Krieger, Keith Kotyk.
Here is a wide shot of the Rankin Inlet radar from the south. You can see the road leading to the site on the left, the main array at the top and the interferometer at the bottom. The seacan with electronics is red and can be seen in the mid-top of the photo.
Here is a photo showing the main array and the seacan in the left background. The UAV landing zone can be seen on the left in the foreground, it is a piece of plywood. Avoiding landing and taking off from the tundra is necessary.
At the SuperDARN workshop in Leceister in May 2015, the UK teams from Leicester and Lancaster announced that they will be building a new SuperDARN radar in Southern France near Toulouse. Coverage in the mid-latitude region (~40 degrees) in North America, China, and Japan is excellent, but has been lacking Europe. The new French radar will provide some much needed mid-latitude coverage in Europe!
SuperDARN Canada was asked to build the antennas for the new French radar. Over the last several months, our engineers have been busy with this task (as well as all of the other tasks they normally have to do). With some help from a local Saskatoon company, Scientific Instrumentation Ltd., the antennas and their components are now completed and shipping is about to take place! We are all looking forward seeing the data from the French radar after it has been completed.