My colleague Andrew Finlayson and I made it to Denmark on Sunday and turned up at Aarhus University bright and early on Monday morning.
We set about unpacking our equipment and around four hours later the pile of apparatus you see above was pretty much working.
Looking at the scene, my first thought was, and is:
“What could possibly go wrong?“
But I am not asking in a sarcastic tone: I want to know the answer!
And I want a list! That way I can go down the list and think in advance how to avoid that possibility and what to do if I can’t.
So Monday was a good day because none of the major things which could go wrong, did go wrong. In the afternoon we lowered the pressure until it was equivalent to a height of 8 kilometres altitude and most of the equipment seemed to cope.
Tuesday was not so good. We spent the morning understanding the effect of air circulation within the chamber. Fortunately I had anticipated this might be a problem* and brought two fans with me that we could place inside the chamber. (See the pictures below).
And just when we thought we had sorted out the temperature control – the laser in our our laser hygrometer broke. This is kind of thing which is difficult to plan for. But we did have a plan!
My colleague Tom Gardiner was planning to join us tomorrow morning and by chance a new laser module had been delivered to NPL last week and he will be able to bring it with him.
So with luck – and it will require some – we should be back up and running tomorrow afternoon.
Anyway I must get to bed now – I need to be bright and alert in the morning. But below are a few pictures of our adventure.
*Actually it was my wife who anticipated it – but I listened to her and took her advice!