It’s been 3 months since our …..

….. not quite confession, but …..

We were going to call this blog “Hurray for Bollywood” – we’ll get back to why later.

OK – so we’ve been a bit quiet of late. Why is that?

Well this year we’ve been quite busy with going on for 120 individual seabed platform deployments and recoveries of the full range of our instrument types, spread across three locations, from one side of the Atlantic to the other effectively.

You name it, we’ve done it this year in instrument terms including designing and building new prototypes and testing them under battle conditions and breaking the 4000 samples per second sampling rate barrier. That’s fast in the seabed instrument world.

The downside (or upside depending on your point of view) of such fast sampling rates is that it generates a lot of data very rapidly, all of which has to be QC’d, converted to standard format, QC’d again, copied into the archive and so on.

So this year has also seen us break the 10 Tbyte of data per acquisition barrier as well as a consequence – that is 10 x 1024 x 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes – or about 10,240 Gbyte or about  2250 DVDs. How long would it take to watch 2250 movies?

Well, can you blame us for having a little holiday after that lot?

But like Arnie S, we are back – and raring to get on with all the exciting projects we have.

One of our number, back from the Far East by special request for the summer data acquisitions, has departed again for yet more travelling and is now in India. He sent us a postcard, and rumour has it that he has even been in a Bollywood film. We look forward to seeing it – especially if it involves energetic dancing! Perhaps he’ll claim it’s just his keep fit regime for next summer’s activities?

The Boss has been beavering away at the day job and has even been seen out and about “doing geology” with the first year undergraduates.

We didn’t know she knew anything about rocks, perhaps she just went for the scenery which is lovely up Weardale.

Or perhaps it was a day out to view the sculptures along the Pennine Way that crosses the river Wear just along from where the above photo was taken.

We have been doing outreach with the public at one of the museums in Newcastle, introducing to the next generation the joys of doing not just science, but science at sea!

Here one of the team has made an instrument, and is mimicking how it senses ground motion if you jump up and down next to it. That caused some excitement.

The Boss says she has seen the below more times this year than ever – its the southbound platform at Durham station, early in the morning waiting for a London-bound train – she sits on the Council of Learned Societies, spends a lot of time doing good deeds for the community, a lot of time keeping the wheels on our wagon, and sometimes, even, doing a bit of science of her own.

But, even the Boss takes the odd day off, and one involved a balloon ride this year – over York.

And ……. having tested the prototypes ……. and they worked as planned ……. now we are pressing on turning them into full roll-out versions, which range from a new front-end to our new generation datalogger that will allow great flexibility in what we can attach to it and measure – or even enable measuring multiple different things at once …..

….. to race-tuning our new GPS clock system, which is currently getting a higher clocking frequency upgrade.

And then it snowed ….. for the first time this year.

And then for the second.

We don’t normally see our instruments covered in snow – but this one was outside ready-built for inspection by the Curator of the NE Museum Service who wants to borrow some of our equipment for a few months over the summer as part of the Great Exhibition of the North East – fame at last.

So as this year comes to an end – we wish all our readers and all our team members at home or abroad –

a very Happy Christmas.

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