Sunday 22 July 2012

Calibration life

While the building and construction on the LBA continue outside and the installation and setup goes on within the RF-container, there is another side to the work at KAIRA. Within the Lehtinen Barracks, some of the team are working on calibration and software.Despite what the crew outside might tell you, this is actually pretty intense work as we wrestle with all sorts of problems, software packages, operating systems, configurations and, of course... trying to make sense of the data.

The Lehtinen Barracks is a convert railway carriage, fitted out with desks and chairs and work benches. Scattered about are computers, cables, power supplies and various notes and drawings. The heater is running, but still the cool Arctic air gets in. And, when the wind blows, the entire barracks rocks gently back and forth, as it is suspended above the ground. The place smells of a strange mix between coffee and deet (= insect repellent). There are cups (both paper cups and traditional Finnish timber ones) strewn about and scattered here and there are (usually empty) packets of Angry Birds sweets.

What you don't get from looking at this photograph is the sound... do you remember the soundtrack from the original version of the computer game Die Siedler / The Settlers (1993 Amiga version, in-game music by Haiko Ruttmann and Markus Kludzuweit — LINK). Well, this is set to continuous loop and has been playing for several days now non-stop. With the sound of the wind, as well as digging, hammers, sawing and various other noise from outside, it is somehow vaguely appropriate. And, given that we have barracks, lots of stone and plenty of wood, the catch phrase whenever we need something is to add "... and we also need a granary!"

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