In about 18 months’ time there will be a season where we search for the missing iron meteorites of Antarctica, before that we have one season checking out that the areas we have selected are meteor stranding zones and that are equipment works correctly. This trip was all about characterising the metal detectors. We have designed a metal detector especially for the job, and we needed somewhere radio quiet with deep clean ice to characterise it, this involves driving it over various samples buried at various depths.
The detecting coil is on the large flat panel just over a meter wide. In the final setup we will be dragging 5 of these to scan a swath 5m wide. Even so we expect to have to drive about 200km on average for each buried iron meteorite we find, although we should hopefully find many more stoney ones on the surface.
Up and down.
The equipment didn't always work!