(Ex-)Hurricane Ophelia kept us busy the last days. IEK-7 campaign seem to attract natural catastrophies. Or is it that we are going wherever the weather is exceptional? No-one knows... However, we found ourselfs in the middle of national weather warnings from Sunday midday onwards. According to the NOAA Hurricane Center, Ophelia was the easternmost hurricane in the Northern Atlantic on record. Of course, being the dedicated climate researchers we are, we had to take the chance to probe the hurricane in front of our doorstep.
Research aircrafts do not usually fly straight to a point and back, as you would expect for instance a passenger plane to go. Observing flight tracks of such a plane give very funny patterns, hence. See for yourself.
One major goal in the WISE campaign is to follow the time evolution of air masses in the UTLS (upper troposphere-lower stratosphere) and to see how they are affected by tropopheric-stratospheric exchange. The latest (and upcoming) research flights are planned to provide an idea of exacty this time evolution. Flight 9 last Saturday was targeting a feature in the West-Atlantic with the plan to probe the same air again in later flights. At the moment, HALO is on its way to catch it now, two days later close to the Norwegian border.
There are some very nice things you can spot from a plane. Not only clouds and the ant farms that actually are cities but also atmospheric phenomena. I have seen for the first time a “Glory” on my way to Ireland. On top, a colleague (Peter Hoor from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) took a very nice picture of so-called “Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities” on a research flight with HALO last week. So I just wanted to show you the pictures here and give you a short explanation on what it is.
To prepare for a research flight takes quite some time and involves many people. It starts in general 3-4 days in advance when some scientist sit together over the forecasts and think about the most interesting atmospheric situations to probe. Two days in advance they hand over a preliminary flight plan to the HALO flight operations team. These colleagues from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) talk to Air Traffic Control (ATC). A day in advance this preliminary flight plan is updated with the recent forecast.
Two weeks ago, the regularly scheduled DocTeam event "What are they actually doing at...?" took place. This time, ver.di visited the research center and gave the audiance an insight into their work. This was the chance for us, the DocTeam, to discuss some important issues regarding our working conditions with them. The results, which are very promising, can now be read here. Since this topic is rather complicated, we have written this article in English and German, so eveyone can follow in the language of choice.
Today I will mainly let the pictures talk.
Today was research flight number 5 of the WISE campaign. This flight went from Shannon to Iceland and its aim was to study an atmospheric gravity wave. The wave was excited by wind over the Icelandic mountains and propagates vertically to the flight altitude of 14km and even higher. A similar wave was already observed during a previous campaign in January 2016 over the same location.
HALO finally arrived in Shannon! Touch down was yesterday evening at 19:28 (German time). However this was not only a transit. Instead of going to Shannon directly, the flight was enlonged to a 10-hour research flight passing by Southern Norway, up north beyond the polar circle and coming down over Iceland and eventually flying to Ireland.
After several years of preparation, this week it was finally time for the first flight of the WISE campaign. This was on Wednesday. The flight track took us from Germany to the west and onto the Atlantic Ocean passing Shannon in Ireland, from where the campiagn will be continued in the following weeks.
Yesterday we had our last StratoClim measurement flight here in Kathmandu. Currently no follow up project with the Geophysica is planned. During the preparation phase on the apron it was raining, matching the mood of seeing the Geophysica taking off for the last measurement flight.
Wait a minute? In Dallas? Didn't you say the SC17 conference is in Denver? Yes, this is correct. Like for last year's August meeting in 2016, where my team met in Denver, even when the SC16 conference was in Salt Lake City, we met in Dallas on August 8 and 9. Logical thinking people can now conclude where SC18 will be located ;-)
One year can pass by so fast…. And now we have two newly elected representatives, which I would like to introduce today. Maybe you remember that we, the doctoral researchers, determine one delegate among our peers in every institute, who then represents his/her colleagues at the so called DocAssembly. At this event, which takes place twice a year, these delegates are allowed to elect the new spokespersons. If you remember further, at each assembly two new representatives are elected, one for the internal affairs and one for representing us on the Helmholtz level. As conclusion this means, our Newbies from November 2016 became the Oldies now and have two new fellow campaigners. Who they are and how they divided all the tasks between them, you can read below.
Besides the SC17 conference logo, tag line and preview video, which were introduced at past year's conference, we (that means my communication team ;-) ) is also producing a series of short videos around the "#HPC connects" conference tag line. They will showcase five large science projects which are "connecting people, systems, and science". Once produced, the videos will be published at the SC Youtube channel and of course will also be shown at the conference in November.
Luckily, Denver is a really nice city with a European-style pedestrian shopping area and many excellent restaurants in the city center, otherwise it would be become boring coming here so often. I came here for the Technical Program Paper Selection meeting on June 5 and 6 as well as our next SC planning meeting on June 6 and 7. In addition, there as a meeting of the SC Steering Committee on June 9.
Doctoral researchers are mostly enthusiastic, friendly and prying into interdisciplinarity and interculturality. Therefore, the DocTeam supports the idea of a central mission statement for the FZJ. Finding such mission statement, which represents our visions of an ideal FZJ and nevertheless be livable, is a long process and still in progress. In addition to the vision, the mission statement briefly describes, shortly and concisely, the core values and strategic objectives of FZJ. To live such a mission statement and therefore a better FZJ needs time. However, the doctoral researchers in general, and the DocTeam in particular, do already a lot to promote and support these core values. That’s why we will take a closer look at a few statements today.