Teaching is also part of scientific work. So the ATMOS participate in a fieldwork experiment in Iceland within the framework of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing master track of our department (grsiceland.weblog.tudelft.nl). At first, all the work required to prepare the fieldwork appeared quite straightforward, and times to do it was suppose largely enough. So we both, Igor and Lukas, PhD students, are the tow that represented the group in Iceland. During the preparation period we got lots of support specially form Yann (Thanks) and the rest of the group as well. In the end had no imagination how many e-mail had to be written, how long it would take to organize all the instruments, cables, and boxes to ship them. And how many meeting we had to participate… and how often we have to explain your plans again and again…
Finally we very happy sitting in the plain to Iceland (The first time in the first class because we got an upgrade). After landing in Kaflavik international airport we had a few hours time to have a walk trough Reykjavik. In the evening we had another flight to Akureyri and from there another one and half hour ride to Reykiahild at lake Myvatn. After mounting all the instruments the whole Saturday we welcomed the rest of the staff and all the students in the evening. On Sunday we had a trip on the Krafla volcano. So the students had a first reconnaissance of the area. The area was picked to measure deformation with GPS, gravimeter, leveling, and other methods. Students were also involved in placing two times four weather stations to study atmospheric variability within a small area.
A second part of the atmospheric measurement activity was to measure and estimate cloud base height. For this activity we asked colleagues from the Iceland Met Office for help. They provided us a radio-sonde launch and showed us their mobile SELEX X-band radar. All in all was a very interesting and fascinating meeting with them.
After a few days in the field, we encountered our first issues with the measurement setup related to the weather stations. We realized that we forgot to order enough data-loggers (a very small device which is plugged to the weather sensor in order to store the data). So we spent the whole next day on Skype and phone calls to Netherlands and Iceland and writing emails to get them ordered and urgently shipped to our place in Iceland. And believed it or not the data loggers arrived on Friday evening. Still enough time for the students to collect some data before Igor and I leave on Monday morning. In the end we managed to run all the weather stations with the data loggers and had a first look to some first results.
Now we are back from Iceland and think about the experiences we made. We learned a lot about planning field trips and/or experiments as well as handling students and about fixing problems. It was an intensive time with a lot of ups and downs but we as a group will participate next year again to see if we can improve and reduce the problems that we had this times.