GOLF 4-3-9 Antarctica Expedition 2010
Report -- Monday 1 November 2010 -- USAP Shorthand and Lingo

As you all are soon to become Antarctica experts you have to pass one important test, understanding the shorthand by which Antarcticans communicate. First of all you have to know your initials in the radio-alphabet. Our team members include Hotel Sierra, PI and the fearless expedition leader, Lima Charlie and Bravo Tango, the co-PI's, and our two nubies, Romeo Alpha and Romeo Delta. If you are not a PI or co-PI you have to either become one or get some other PI to write a proposal to the NSF-OPP that requires you to work through a SIP and make a RSP together with your POC at RPSC, which is the operator of the USAP. After an elaborate PQ process you have to send your TRW to the DSG at RPSC and the TS will arrange for your transfer from CONUS to CHC. As you enter NZ in AKL you have to pass MAF inspection before you are allowed to go on to CHC. There you get your ECW gear with which you will board your Ice Flight to MCM. For your field work you have to do Snowcraft I, and you will get your gear from the BFC. Equipment comes from the MEC. Once fully equipped, you have to be aware of the ASPA's and abide by the ACA, but make sure you call MacOPS before you leave and give them your ETR so they know when to activate SAR. For the retrograde cargo you have a choice between COMAIR or the Vessel Retrograde. If all else fails, your POC from RPSC will be there to keep you from losing your mind!

If you didn't get it, here are the keys:

Term      Definition
ACA   Antarctic Conservation Act.
AKL   Auckland International Airport, your port of entry to NZ Kiwis are everywhere! Nice dudes speaking funny.
AMS   Acute Mountain Sickness. Typically some Diamox helps with that, but watch out!
ASMA   Antarctic Specially Managed Area. These areas are not protected but you have to follow a conservative code of conduct to preserve a pristine environment.
ASPA   Antarctic Specially Protected Area.
BFC   Berg Field Center. The facility at McMurdo that houses and distributes field party equipment such as camping gear, waste disposal supplies and sleds.
CHC   Christchurch, New Zealand. The departure point for groups deploying to the Antarctic continental research stations.
COMMS   Communication Services. Where we get our radios!
CONUS    Continental United States.
co-PI   Co-Principal Investigator, the group of scientists who dreamed up the science.
DSG   Deployment Specialist Group. The organization within RPSC that makes participant travel arrangements.
ECW   Extreme Cold Weather. The clothing and personal gear loaned to participants during their Antarctic deployments.
EOC   Emergency Operation Center.
ETA   Estimated Time of Arrival.
ETD   Estimated time of Departure.
ETR   Estimated Time of Return.
HACE   High Altitude Cerebral Edema. When you get this, it is a bad scene! Get into the Gramow bag! And off the mountain!
HAPE   High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. Another bad scene. Again, get into the Gramow bag and off the mountain!
MacOPS   McMurdo Station Operations Center. To them we need to report when we leave town and have daily check-ins for deep field camps.
MAF   New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry.
MCM   McMurdo Station.
MEC   Mechanical Equipment Center. The facility at McMurdo that houses and distributes mechanical equipment, such as generators, vehicles and solar power units.
NSF-OPP   National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs.
NZ   New Zealand (Kiwis).
PI   Principal Investigator.
POC   Point of Contact. The person assigned to your project for planning the logistical support that will be provided to you by RPSC during your fieldwork. Your on-ice POC may be different from the one assigned during the planning phase of your logistical support.
PQ   Physical qualification.
PSM   Planning Support Manager.
RPSC   Raytheon Polar Services Company. The support contractor providing logistical support to grantees in Antarctica.
RSP   Research Support Plan. This document which describes the support to be provided to field parties.
SAR   Search and Rescue.
SIP   Support Information Package. An online form that describes support logistics, equipment and supplies requested by science groups.
TRW   Travel Request Worksheet.
TS   Travel Specialist working in the DSG.
USAP   United States Antarctic Program.

Or, read about the Radio Alphabet on Wikepedia!

Hubert Staudigel (Hotel Sierra) from McMurdo Station
1 November, 2010

GOLF 4-3-9 Antarctica Expedition