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Dr. Martina Bauchrowitz
(Public relations LakeLab)

Phone: +49 (0)151 40 38 09 62

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Tuesday, 03.02.2015

Winter at the LakeLab: What is going on?

Daily maintenance

A gloomy day in February, temperatures just above freezing, weak snow flurry – weather to stay inside where it is warm. Not so Armin Penske, the responsible engineer of the LakeLab. Every day he takes the boat to the floating research platform.

«Although there are currently no experiments running at the LakeLab, it does not mean that there is nothing to do», says Armin Penske when we embark to the LakeLab with the «Iron Gustav». He and his colleagues set out daily as long as Lake Stechlin is not frozen. Particularly in winter and after storms, the screw joints between the different parts of the LakeLab have to be checked and the sensitive test probes must be monitored throughout the entire year.


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A field computer is Penske’s most important tool. With its help he is able to navigate the test probes to the water surface and monitor their functioning.


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During the power breakdown last Saturday, one of the oxygen measuring probes dropped out and has to be changed today.


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To ensure that the enclosure facility does not drift, the GPS position of the LakeLab is determined daily using the computer.


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Moreover, today Penske needs to install a new cover on one of the fire-extinguishers.


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Before we head back, we circle around the LakeLab to examine from the water side whether everything is in order. Finally, I would like to know from Armin Penske, if he would not rather stay in the lab on such cold, gloomy days. «No, not at all», he replies with utter conviction. «I really like to be outdoors and it’s the combination between field work and lab work that I enjoy a lot».

Text and photographs: Martina Bauchrowitz, IGB

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