Field Notes  

Robotic Search for Antarctic Meteorites Patriot Hills 1998 Expedition

The 1997-98 field season in Patriot Hills, Antarctica, proved quite useful for the field team members and the project in general. There was a lot to be learned through first-hand experience in Antarctic conditions, working with experts in Geology and Planetary Science, observing the logistical support and resources provided by Adventure Network International (ANI), and conducting experiments and component tests. This document will outline experiences in the field and some of the important lessons learned.

Before leaving

ANI Personnel and Facilities

Environmental conditions

Working in the conditions

Vehicle Communication

Personal Communication

Implications of weather on electronic devices

Implications of environment on robot design

Camp Setup / Life

Field Expeditions

Resources to improve operations next season


About 8 crates and one sled:
  1. Polarhaven: Floor, side & end walls, poles.
  2. 5 kW generator
  3. 650 W generator, 4 full jerry cans, power cords,
  4. Liam's battery box
  5. Radar sled, printer, packing foam
  6. 2 bicycles
  7. Large stoves, fuel pumps
  8. Camp sundries: cots, thermarests, bamboo, tent pegs, bungees, bins, etc.
  9. Large sled, Endurance tent, banana sled

Site Selection


All experiments went well, and enough data has been collected to keep several people busy for quite some time. ANI relations were excellent and their logistical support did an excellent job of facilitating field work. Some interesting relationships were formed, including unsolicited publicity through Marcy Garriot, sharing of information and exploratory experience in the region with the Planetary Studies Foundation, and meeting two potential field guides, Simon and Art, should one be required for operations next year. Doug is willing to offer some information on both short wave communications and alternative power sources, as he plans to write reports for ANI internal documentation on both subjects and I have already requested copies if the document is actually produced. No meteorites were found, but finding out that Patriot Hills has no meteorites was valuable and it is good to know that constraint now, as candidate sites are already under consideration and investigation. Conclusions will be drawn by individual experimenters on the results of their respective field tests and experiences, and reported shortly. Lastly, it's good to be back!

Back to the 1997 Winter Expedition.

Robotic Search for Antarctic Meteorites 1998
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Send comments, questions, or suggestions to Dimitrios Apostolopoulos.
This document prepared by Michael Wagner.