As the field season progressed, the MIT team recorded and posted daily a record of their activities, along with a few selected photos.
The field site's logbook has been duplicated here.
July 18, 2005
Written by Matthew Silver
An eventful and productive day at HMP. In the morning Mike automated the Mess Tent experiment through the local network and we collected a full day of RFID data. The program does not yet have logic to determine whether people are entering or leaving the tent, but we are able to tell when people go through the door. As expected there are some issues with respect to placement of the tags. Bits of metal in people's pockets can also affect the readability. In the future it will be helpful to design an RFID hold, perhaps to stick on the outside of jackets, to increase the readability. We will work out placement of antennas as we proceed, and eventually should be able to track multiple assets through the mess tent door. This is, of course, a prelude to more accurate tracking.
While the experiment ran, Mile updated the GUI and also reduced excel data for importation to the relational database. By the end of the day all the Food data was in the relational database. We then worked out a scheme to code directional logic into the application. There are some issues due to limitation with the reader configuration and antenna programming, but we plan to run the experiment as is for two days, and then update it with directional data. In addition, Matt inventoried the office tent, tagged items with bar codes, and worked with John Schutt to inventory the Core tent. We now have the Greenhouse Team, Telecom Team, Food, Fuel, Mess Tent, Office Tent, and most of the Core tent inventoried.
Later in the afternoon the weather lifted, and Polar Shelf was able to send 5 planes with people and cargo from Resolute. In total 15 people made it to camp, with Pascal in on the last flight. John Schutt mentioned before they arrived that often in isolated situations such as this a strange psychological issue arises in which the old crew becomes somewhat clickish with respect to the new. Apparently this kind of thing happens often in the Antarctic, where John and A.C. Hitch spend their summers. I suppose the same phenomenon might occur in the context of space exploration—although it seems that people would be happier for the company than anything else. In any event, it does not seem to have occurred yet, although there is a marked contrast between the new folks and those that have been in the rain and snow at camp for many days. Matt then monitored the contents of the incoming planes for the log, and later worked out the beginning of the formal gate experiment.