Brooks Range on the North Slope of Alaska

Micah was accepted to participate in the NASA SnowEx Arctic Campaign in October. His assigned site was the Imnaviat Creek area in Alaska, which also meant staying at the Toolik Research Station. As part of his participation, Micah brought the Lyte probe for testing in the harsh Arctic temperatures, while also engaging in fieldwork aligned with the campaign’s objectives.

Following several days of training in Fairbanks, individual teams embarked on their journeys to their designated sites. The drive from Fairbanks to the Toolik Research Station took about 9 hours. Over the subsequent days, Micah’s team ventured out to their assigned study locations, where they conducted a comprehensive array of observations focused on the early season snow. These observations encompassed measurements of density, specific surface area, snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), grain sizes, stratigraphy, soil sampling, and the capture of site photographs.

The limited Lyte probe testing yielded positive results, although the scarcity of snow prevented a comprehensive evaluation of its performance. Nevertheless, we did manage to confirm a couple of key points:

  1. Qualitatively, it appeared that the frigid temperatures did not adversely affect the probe’s overall functionality. Mostly focusing on battery performance and force sensor sensitivity.
  2. Remarkably, the Lyte probe demonstrated its durability by surviving TSA handling without the need for a protective case 🙂

Micah thoroughly enjoyed his first visit to the Arctic and hopes to return soon.

impromptu science lecture in the arctic
Impromptu science lecture about melting/freezing tundra
measuring shallow arctic snow
Measurements in shallow Arctic snow