I’m excited to be joining the RESPONDER team at Store Glacier next week – I’m Mike Prior-Jones from Cardiff University, and together with my PI Liz Bagshaw, I’ve been developing Cryoegg, a wireless subglacial probe. The plan is to put Cryoegg down a borehole to the bed of the glacier, where it can measure the temperature, pressure and electrical conductivity of meltwater and report the signal by radio to the surface. This will help us understand the subglacial hydrology – in plain language, that means the way that water flows underneath the glacier – which in turn will help us understand how the glacier moves and responds to changes in the environment.
I’ve designed and built Cryoegg over the last five months, building on previous work by Liz and her collaborators at Bristol University. We’re using a radio module that would normally be used in smart meters in France, which offers a long range and doesn’t need too much power. It’s an exciting new approach and got us on the BBC News front page!
This week I’ve been making final preparations – sealing the sensor electronics in rubber “potting” to prevent any leaks, and doing a system test in the garden. I’m leaving for the field on Saturday!