Monday, October 3, 2016

The demob begins!

Cooper and Nova arrived back in Kupang today and are getting ready to start the long process of removing the 22 instruments from the Indonesian component of the Banda Arc array.

Fortunately, we secured additional funding from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists - Geoscientists Without Boarders to keep the 8 seismometers deployed in Timor-Leste for another year.

Stay tuned to hear about our demob adventures!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Rote - the service run sunset

We're done! All the stations have been checked, data has been downloaded, and the data and I are ready to return to LA. Nova's been great this whole trip and it would be hard to say goodbye, so instead we're saying sumpai jumpa lagi (see you soon!)

Since the last blog update, we've finished Flores and enjoyed ginger coffee with a sunset. Then, short stop in Kupang before we flew immediately to Rote. On Rote, we had two stations to do. One of the Rote stations is located on an amazing oceanside resort so we couldn't help but stay a couple nights there.

On the way to Ende, we found and tried fresh durian. Despite all the fear around the fruit, it was actually pretty tasty and didn't smell at all.


From Ende, where we enjoyed fried bananas and ginger coffee.



Relaxing in Rote with the job done.

One last sunset (and bintang)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The calm before the final storm

Sumba's done and we're resting back home in Kupang. Tomorrow morning (Monday) we have an early flight to Lahunbajo in western Flores. That starts our last major hurtle - 5 stations on 1 island including a station with clearly bad data. We'll do what we can to try and fix it, but we may just decide to pull it and store the equipment to save time and money for the demobilization. Once western Flores is done, we'll touch down back in Kupang before going to the last island, Rote.

Couple quick videos we took on the way to our last Sumba site:
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I got to be supervisor as Nova and the station manager put the tarp back over the station box.

On the plane from Waingapu to Kupang...
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Friday, March 18, 2016

Sumba day 1

We've just finished 2 stations on Sumba, leaving 1 for tomorrow. Stations looked pretty good, but all of these q330 stations seem to be giving me a curveball to test me. The first station had a little problem with the GPS - seems like it has a somewhat weak antenna and we had it pointed down. We flipped the antenna up and out and then forced the GPS to relock and bingo, we got it working happily. The GPS is really just used for a clock; the digitizer (q330) has an internal clock which drifts slightly. So, every few minutes to hours, it wakes up a GPS antenna to get accurate timing information from the satellites. The second station had one of its "booms" out of position. The instruments are basically a set of capacitive plates and what we really do is measure the voltage needed to keep those plates at a constant distance. The boom for one of these plates was not quite aligned within our tolerance zone, so we sent a recenter. But no response was seen on our handheld communication device (cliƩ). So we did a manual recenter with the connecting box and it centered nicely.

Little video recorded between the stations. It is really striking how different Flores and Timor are compared with northeastern Sumba!
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Indonesia service half done!

It has been quite a fruitful week since I met up with Nova and started the service in Nusa Tengarra Timur (NTT). We've serviced all 4 stations on Indonesian Timor, 2 stations on Alor, 2 stations in eastern Flores, 2 stations in Lembata, and just today did a quick round trip to/from the 1 station in Savu. Tomorrow we head for 3 stations in Sumba, then back to our homebase in Kupang before heading to 5 stations in western Flores, and then finishing with 2 stations in Rote. Much of the logistics is dictated by availability of flights and boat rides, but so far things have worked well. We're setting off very early, usually taking flights at 6 or 7am and then getting to our first site by 8am or so. Getting the sites done early in the day is working great. If we wait too long, the sun gets unbearable until the rains come down and make the roads impassible. So we're a little short on sleep, but not on Bintang (the local pilsner you can find in a large bottle).

Met some friendly guys working at the hotel in Atambua, which is a border town between Indonesian Timor and Timor Leste.

Q330 balers in the hotel room, getting prepped for the field (Fight on!)

Nova reading to a future geophysicist :)

In Larantuka on the eastern end of Flores
Nova and I posing for selfy with some girls from a site on Lembata

At lunch in Kupang at a traditional pork restaurant with our hero, Elen.

Probably one of the more unique highlights: we had a radio interview! Huge thanks to Nova for translating and making sure we didn't say anything incorrect :D.

On the little plane to Savu. I've never had so much leg room!

And now for the audio-video part of the blog:

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After the first night of work in Indonesia. We had two sites; the first was great, but the second was during a downpour, which of course ended once we were done.


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From the road, en route to our second station on the second day in Lelogama. Turns out we didn't have the right equipment, so just did a quick power check and then returned a couple days later.


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From the boat between eastern Flores to Lembata.

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In the radio station, just before the live broadcasting!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Videos from the road

Just wanted to post a few short video clips. This first one is just to give you a sense of the ferry ride between Dili and Ocuessi:
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This next one I recorded while waiting for Teo and Atoy to get me in Ocuessi:
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Next was in the hotel room in Soe after servicing two stations (one in some pretty bad rain!)

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Finally, on the way to our last station in west Timor. The video is surprisingly steady considering the road conditions ^_^.

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Timor Leste completed and western Timor nearly done!

Checking in from our home away from home in Kupang. We're one station away from being completely done with the island of Timor and plan to get that done Sunday. Tomorrow/Saturday we're heading to/from the island of Alor to take care of stations there. Looks like our schedule is pretty well setup to island hop around for the next week or two.
Met a new friend in Dili. He spoke a little English and helped me get on the right boat.

Met some new friends in the hotel at Atambua. 
Sunsetting from the balcony in Kupang

What's a field deployment without q330's in the hotel room (Go Trojans!)