It has been almost one month and the second phase of SouthTRAC has come to an end. HALO, after flying to Buenos Aires and then to Cape Verde is since today back home in Oberpfaffenhofen.
Hi everybody! Long time without posting, since the WISE campaign back in 2017. This year I joined the second phase of SouthTRAC and I am mainly helping with the ground control of the GLORIA instrument. This means monitor from ground what GLORIA is doing during the flights and write down any relevant information about its performance and the meteorological situation. However, I won’t continue talking about my work here, but about some of the social activities in which we have participated.
You will agree with me there is nothing more infuriating than working on a computer and suddenly the blue screen appears, leading to a restart… The infamous “Blue screen of Death”… Most people (including me) are extremely outraged by this and their rage frequently results in a ferocious shout, a slap on the desk or even a kick aimed at the computer box. Now imagine this, except this computer, is the ‘brain’ of your instrument that is worth about 1 000 000 Euros AND has data of 3 flights which you hope to use in your PhD… Need I say more!
After a brief 2 week ‘vacation’ at home we are on our way back to Rio Grande. You might wonder why do I call it ‘vacation’? Especially since the last two weeks were spent working at Forschungszentrum again…? It seems that I have been spending so much time in Argentina and so little time in Germany, that Argentina almost feels more home nowadays...
Finally a well-deserved break. I would not call the break a restful period, but it was most definitely rejuvenating, relaxing and a hell-of-a-lot of fun!! We spent 4 glorious days hiking in National Park, Torres del Paine. This is one of the most famous parks in the Patagonia region.
Our time here in Argentina is drawing to a “pause”… The end of the first campaign is within sight and most of our teams are on their way home. We, however, still have 2 weeks left in Argentina, what is work without a little bit of play?? But I leave our holiday plans for the next post, first I will say a bit about the last couple of days…
Another nightshift… It’s 3 AM and I have to stand outside in the cold to have a mere feeling of being awake. Coffee is not doing its job anymore, I ran out of Mate Tea (for those of you who don’t know, Mate is a local tea from Argentina with half as much caffeine as coffee but with supposedly double the buzz…) and I still have 3 hours of my shift left…
So maybe I am running out of creativity or I suffer from severe sleep deprivation. So tonight I will talk about our latest science flight and combine that with photos of the wildlife in Argentina. I know they don’t fit, but hey it's my post … ;-)
Finally, the long-awaited HALO arrived in Rio Grande. We obtained our container from customs and managed to get our first measurements in the flight down to Rio Grande. Now that we are all very excited (and relieved), the real work starts…
Following the successful conclusion of the PASCAL autumn school and hackathon in Ghana at the start of December, Jülich’s agrosphere research team and Geoverbund ABC/J are looking to continue and expand on their project in Africa. There are plans for an Africa Day in the second half of 2019.
Today is the last day of our PASCAL project in Accra. While the group is still working hard with Dr. Jirka Šimůnek and Dr. Roland Baatz to get to know the software “Hydrus” and to implement their own data to model water flows and contaminant transports in soils we ask some participants to give us a short feedback on the week. For us it was a pleasure working with you guys. We really enjoyed your interest in the subject and your enthusiasm at the courses. Hopefully we will meet again soon.
In the PASCAL HPC-workshop (HPC = High Performance Computing) the Jülich scientists train African participants how to use TSMP to provide predictions from coupled simulations of the soil, water, and air system. The course aims to provide the participants with generic capabilities of terrestrial modelling and data assimilation which they can apply in their home countries. “Attending PASCAL is very crucial for my work”, says Chioma Ogbenna, PhD student in soil science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and one of the PASCAL participants.
Deforestation, soil degredation, climate change: African countries face serious challenges in regard of a sustainable development, requiring a comprehensive integrated approach. The PASCAL training program aims at initiating a knowledge and technology transfer-bridge between Germany and Africa in the areas of soil science, nutrition and hydrology. An interview with Chioma Ogbenna shows how young scientists can utilize the training on HPC-enabled terrestrial modelling.
Second day of the PASCAL side programme - a lot of input for the participants! The aim is to get them to know Germany (and especially Forschungszentrum Jülich!) as a place for excellent science. Therefore the programme provides information on Germany and Jülich as a science location, it wants to foster the exchange between African and German scientists and to support scientists who are interested in a work stay in Germany/Jülich. Welcome to the “Career Fair”!
We, the members of the PASCAL team, are in Accra to organize the program, to give lectures and to do exercises with the participants - and some of us are here to report about it. Unfortunately, for most of us there is not much time besides or after the scientific program to get to know the capital and its people. At least we get an impression of this incredible city when we commute between the hotel and WASCAL headquarters. Thankfully the other day on the way back to our hotel we could persuade our driver to make some extra turns and show us “his” Accra.