Safari 2000 photo journal
From 8/13/00 to 9/4/00 Mark Helmlinger collected field data at Sua Pan, Botswana. From 9/16/00 to 10/2/00 his primary experiment site has been the Skukuza tower, near the Kruger National Park. During this time, his colleagues supported aircraft operations at Pietersburg, South Africa. The AirMISR team included Ghobie Saghri, Jim Knighton, Steven Adams, Ian McCubbin, and Bob Deering.
Mark's photos of the experiment & explanations
|The JPL PARABOLA instrument has been
mounted at the Skukuza tower, near Kruger National Park. The instrument sits
on an 8 meter pole, on top of a 25 meter tower. This height is desirable in
order to get a representative view of the region as a whole.|
On days that MISR is to fly overhead, Mark starts his day at 5 a.m., where he picks up the game guard. This local escorts Mark into the region, accompanied by a 45 gauge shot gun. Luckily the lions have always stayed hidden during these excursions.
Tbis image was taken near dawn. The game guard is vigilantly sitting at the base of the tower.
|Sua Pan, Botswana|
|The purpose of coming to Sua Pan is to measure
a flat, featureless desert target. These data will be used to verify that
MISRs optical systems are calibrated.|
Sua is San for salt. The San were the original inhibitants of this area, but were pushed out by more successful people who eventually became the Motswana. Naming the pan Sua gives credit to the original peoples.
The only signs of civiliation around these parts is the mine, and supporting town. The mine produces table salt, sodium bi-carbonates, and other related products. Their process was developed originally in California, my home state. Water is pumped out of the pan, and the sun dried remains harvested.
|Site map (PDF file)|
|Africa now has a reflecto-mo-bakkie. I
went to the mine and scrounged a 3 meter length of light angle iron, which I
strapped to the back, sticking out the full 2 meter of the ASD's fiber optic
input. The optical bench of the ASD is perched on a shelf at the rear corner
of the bed, or "buckett". I sit back there on a case operating the ASD and
Peter jumps out with the Spectralon standard every hundred meters or so.
Frank and Wolf cruise in compound-low idle and air-conditioned splendor.
The bakkie (pronounced bukkie, a Toyota 4WD quad-cab Hilux pickup) is flat white now and quite dusty. I have the GPS logging on my laptop and you know the whole schmeer would be solare powered if the cig lighter wasn't so easy to use.
|A ten-minute walk out the back of our camp takes you to the CIMEL, Met station, and Reagan sunphotometer out on Sua Pan.|
|We had a spare hour to go look for Flamingoes, and found some. Also found the Baobob Tree (only one in the region). Peter is on the left; Wolf is the tall one. 8/26/00.|
|Today is a Terra satellite overpass day, 09:16UT.
All instruments working. Did kilometers of ASD reflectance transects.
Saw AeroCommanders overhead. This photo is of me walking back from PARABOLA
after setting it up in the wee hours of the dawn. Note the new stand. That's
only half the monster.
Wolf says MISR is right - Sua is huge!!
|Here you see Pete pumping gas at the came.
You see, our rental bakkie takes unleaded fuel. It has a fillpipe restrictor,
so even though it does not have an oxygen sensor or a catalytic converter
(things which are clogged by lead), it is still difficult to put leaded fuel
in it. The spigot won't fit.
So, the only other place that sells fuel and the closest place that sells unleaded fuel (and takes my US Gov'g Fleet Mastercard), is in Nata, some 90km away. Bythe time we get back from there, the tank is less than 3/4 full!! So, we decided to fill some containers and make our own fuel dump. When we want to fuel up, we go to the mine and borrow the hand pump. There is only one, so we return it each time.
There is a term "Boer Makker Plan" (Make a plan). Unfortunately, you need a plan for the simplest of things.
|Nata boasts TWO gas stations, and they have unleaded. This photo is of Nata, a typical village in these parts. Donkeys are all over, and are used to pull carts. Alongside the "tar" road is a dirt track for the carts. Two worlds co-exist.|
|Nasa comes to town|
|This cartoon ran in the 11-Aug-00 Pretoria News, the day before the Safari 2000 open house. Note the lower right hand corner. 9/7/00.||cartoon (26K gif)|
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