On the short bus

You know that saying “the dumbest smart kid”. That might be me. The past days’ events have led me to eat a lot of my Trader Joe’s Belgian chocolate. That’s right. Its over a pound. Or a “pound plus”...though I think I’m gaining more of the “plus” than just the pound as I eat it.

My thesis research is all about figuring out the height of the bottom of a cloud from space. At this point in my research, that means comparing data from a satellite called Cloudsat to a few lidar ground sites scattered around the world to validate that the satellite is telling us the proper altitude of the bottom of the cloud. (if you want to know more of the geeky science stuff, put your nerd glasses on and e-mail me).

I spent the whole day yesterday downloading data raw satellite data. I spent most of today decoding it so I can play with it and organizing it into nice folders and was quite proud of myself. I even made a spreadsheet that told me exactly what time the satellites flew over my ground sites for an entire two-year period.

Then this afternoon I was looking a bit more closely at my pretty pictures where the satellite flew each day. And realized that the days when the satellite was supposed to fly over the Oklahoma site it was flying over central China. And when it was supposed to fly over the Alaska site it was flying over Siberia.

I forgot a negative sign. So instead of searching for longitude values in the western hemisphere (where Oklahoma and Alaska are), I was looking in the eastern hemisphere (hence China and Siberia).

Darn negative sign!

Hopefully I can get it all downloaded and organized again tomorrow. There is single track to ride this weekend!