Monday, June 8, 2009

Walk Around NARL

Up in Barrow again, this time we are installing a 20KVA UPS in the new facility to support the servers and the network. There is a diesel generator on site but there is a measurable delay between the power outage and the generator being online to take on the load. The UPS is there to keep the infrastructure up and running during the switchover to the backup power source as well as the switch back to line power. I pass this building each time I head over to the BARC and I always thought it looked kind of cool. The cooling tubes just add to the character of the building. I am so rarely up here during nice weather, I took the opportunity to go for a walk after dinner. Plus I am hoping that it helps with the sick feeling that seems to accompany every meal these days. The walk could have been longer but it seemed to help.

This is the BARC (Barrow Arctic Research Center) showing what was originally a balloon launch tower. Now it is the home for the WipLL 700 mHz radios that provide network connectivity for a significant radius around the facility. Setting up this significant portion of the wireless infrastructure is the University of Cincinatti. The purpose is not to provide the ability for someone way out in the middle of nowhere to be able to check their email but to provide low bandwidth connectivity to transfer data supporting research. It works really well.

Just a short distance to the east is a DEWline (Defense Early Warning) station. Located at the entrance to the facility is a totem pole topped with a toilet. I guess people come up with strange things when they are bored.

This is a view to the NE from the beach. This area is what used to be the Navel Arctic Research Lab (NARL) and was shut down sometime around 1980 (I think). It is now kind of a suburb of Barrow with some housing, and home to Ilisagvik College and the Barrow Arctic Research Consortium (BASC) as well as several commercial businesses. A little bit further east is the football field made famous by ESPN a couple of years back when Barrow had their first football game. As you will notice, the ice is getting pretty soft but it is still not melted. I don't think it clears out for several more weeks.

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