The day begins with a regular morning meeting at the ex-control station that looks like a Russian traditional country house “izba”. Scientists are discussing their plans for today. If there are not any at all, they think what to do. Just joking! They always have a lot to do. However, the life usually makes its own corrections.

image_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png Scientists are in a hurry for work. By this car. By a powerful UAZ off-roader. It can pass almost everywhere and you do not have to fasten the seatbelt.

Here you can see a new movable control station of the Baikal neutrino telescope. All the data from the detector are accumulated in here. Research assistants on duty are studying incoming signals very carefully – not to miss the neutrino.
Today, when I was pulling out an ice cube from just another ice hole, I had a distinct feeling of a high-energy neutrino rushing through my back. Unfortunately, I could not transmit the characteristics to the control station – clusters are usually disconnected from power during expedition time.

image_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png Do you remember, I have already told you about the all-terrain amphibious cargo vehicle? Well, that is it in real life. Looks like a wild beast, doesn’t it? It was today for some reason on the ice. Most likely, it just wanted to move a little and clean out its turbines.


There is plenty of equipment on the campsite. Its practical use I will explain in a due course. Well, what is to be done today? To cut out new ice holes for the fourth cluster; to pull out some modules from the second one; to monitor the laser incorrect functioning (it does not feel better in spite of all attempts); to mark the wire rope for several strings of the fourth cluster; to test some new optical modules; to prepare the ex-control station for the next consignment of boxes (they had already had their own exciting railway adventure).

IMG 1425

image_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png The most part of devices on the ice needs electricity. But where can we get it? There are two trailers with diesel-generators on the ice. This is how they look like inside.
image_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png  And that is the view from outside.
image_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png Optical modules are ready for underwater installation. They are waiting in specially tailored boxes for their proper time. Wadding and polyfoam layers are designed to fit the shapes of optical modules perfectly. Tomorrow we will have a closer look at the boxes.
image_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png I suppose that the core part of our expedition are winches. They lift previously installed optical modules and other facility components for repairing and, afterwards, put them again into the water.
image_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy.png Rastislav Dvornicki, the member of the DLNP staff and the citizen of Slovakia, has got his own winch: even his name is written on it. His affection reflects in his worries: he is blaming one of the colleagues for the winch being out-of-service.

 Now meet Rastislav in person. He will tell us about his job.



bricks Would you like to know why it is difficult to search neutrino sources through the ice? We performed a simple test in our leisure time. We placed ice cubes in two piles and looked through them at the compact light source – the Sun. It is obvious, that the light, moving through 70 cm thick ice, scatters so much that no Sun can be seen. The shine is evenly spread throughout the ice. Therefore, it is extremely hard to determine the direction of the neutrino source. That is why Lake Baikal is the best choice!

Baikal attracts by its magnificent force. Quite often you can see a man standing at the ice hole as if glued to the spot and looking into the abyss. Which mysteries do the depths of Baikal keep? How many screwdrivers, bolts, ice axes, different tools and other heavy pieces of equipment rest safe at its bottom?
By the way, here is a tricky question, and it is not only for Doctors in Physical and Mathematical Sciences: the Baikal ice is 1 meter thick and the water is under it. Curiously, but when an ice cube has been already taken away from the ice hole, the water almost reaches the upper edge of the ice. Why? Which distance up to the ice surface is left?
If you have already found the explanation for this phenomenon, two more questions. The first one. In which way do the physicists decide where ice holes are to be done? How do they know that exactly beneath this rectangular hole there is a particular string? And the second one. How do the scientists manage to put onto the winch the previously installed string that needs to be lifted?


Somewhere beneath the ice, neutrinos are telling us a story about dramatic events billions of years ago! Having deciphered the message, we will get clues about what and where had happened. This kind of challenge we are facing now.

To be continued…