I am very excited.  After a frustrating day, when the flight to Antarctica was first postponed and then cancelled due to weather en route, we arrived at McMurdo around 17.30 just one day late.  All the equipment had been dispatched two weeks earlier.

After the arrival briefing and a meal, we went down to the equipment cages and I was very pleased to see five Pelican cases with my name and that of AUT on them.  Tomorrow, after a survival course, I'll open the cases and test all the equipment.  There are two UAVs, two GCSs and a spectroradiometer.  We expect to deploy to the Taylor Valley mid week and hope to conduct some flights towards the end of the week.

There is a pleasant bar here at Scott Base and it is obviously an important place for information exchange.  I met a helicopter pilot and an air traffic controller, who provided useful information on flight clearances.  It appears that obtaining clearance to fly the UAVs in the Dry Valleys will not be a problem, provided that sufficient notice is given to all pilots and that the specific location for the operation is notified.

This place has an amazing ambience - the sense of history is tangible.  I'm sitting typing this short post in a computer room where there are scientific experiments running that were started in 1957 (the Ionospheric Vertical Sounding Programme).

Working here is going to take some getting used to - I am typing this post at 23.40 and the sun is shining brightly.  The temperature is a balmy 1C and the wind around 2 knots; ideal conditions for UAV flight.  Let's hope that the conditions in the Taylor Valley are just as nice.