24 March 2011
The TV station I work for operates a dual polarimetric weather radar called ARMOR (Advanced Radar for Meterological Operations and Research.). The radar is a joint project between WHNT and the University of Alabama at Huntsville and we were the first TV weather department in the world to have dual pole capability. UAH and NASA scientists at the National Science Technology Center use it for research and we use it for tracking storms for our viewers.
While working on a story about how ARMOR works that will air next week, I had the bright idea to do a little stand up in the radar dome. Research Scientist Patrick Gatlin and I climbed up the ladder into the dome followed by a photographer and our chief engineer. I had my iPhone with me to take some still pics inside the dome and was very careful to think about keeping it safe.
After some serious thought, I decided to put it in my shirt pocket, since it might fallout of my jacket pocket, while climbing up the 50 foot metal ladder. This worked well, until I was getting ready to climb down. The hatch into the dome is small, and you have to lean over to fit through it. While preparing to do just that, Patrick said “something just fell through the hatch!”
Guess what it was?
I’ll be getting a new iPhone tomorrow. Still, it only has a small hairline crack in the glass and a dim spot on the screen. Apple makes a mean iPhone, but I don’t think even they could design one to survive the fall from the top of a weather radar tower!