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Some the the bright green tea plants cultivation on the hillsides the Sylhet, the tea resources of Bangladesh.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been virtually two years since I to be last in Bangladesh. During this time, every one of the GNSS (GPS) receivers that we set up in 2018 and 2019 for two various projects have stopped working. Together a result, I will be right here for three and also a half weeks come visit and also repair them all through the aid of Dhaka college graduate Sanju Singha. He has actually been vital in keeping the stations.


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Opening the tools box, I might see because that myself how corroded every little thing was from the battery acid fumes.


The first stage that this expedition is visiting our five stations in Sylhet, in the northeastern component of Bangladesh. This is the area whereby the sediments that the delta space being folded up by the IndoBurma subduction zone. The folds kind hills whose tops room covered by forests. The flanks are offered for tea plantations, generally called tea gardens. The intervening valleys room covered by rice paddies. In ~ the crease lies the practically horizontal subduction megathrust, a fault that can potentially rupture in a great earthquake. Over years, our GNSS stations deserve to measure the movement of the ground down to prices of 1 mm/year or better, to much better understand the error movement.

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The station in Sylhet have actually failed because the first set of batteries we provided leaked battery fluid. Sanju to be able to change the battery with better ones and clean the equipment box as well as he could and also replace some of the parts inside. Ns have brought a bunch of replacement parts: solar dashboard controllers, modems, cables, wiring blocks. Most of the tools was gave by UNAVCO, a consortium that assists U.S. Universities with geodetic measurements.


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The colorful primary institution hosting one of our GPSs currently has had actually a dramatic pond dug in former of it.


Sanju and I left Dhaka, the capital, top top December 29 with Babu, who has actually been our driver whenever us can control it due to the fact that 2005. Top top the method to Srimongal, wherein we will certainly be staying, we stopped at our very first station in Chunarughat. The is in the middle of among the valleys at a college. Now I acquired to view how negative things looked within the devices box. The waterproof box kept all the leaked fluids inside and also the mountain fumes corroded everything.


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In Bangladesh, we frequently have to use amazing ladders to obtain to the roof. Here, Sanju is standing on a solitary pole ladder.


The wood was nearly black, exposed connectors were every green, as were the end of the copper wires. The corrosion supposed the solar panels weren’t giving power and the batteries were drained and ruined. Us even found that the center card in the modem to be corroded and had to be replaced, along with the modem. Us spent hrs cleaning and replacing everything. Amazingly, the high value GNSS receiver, despite the corrosion on the unused connectors, functioned fine. UNAVCO had the ability to remotely routine the brand-new modem. The station is now up and running again. Success!

We headed to Srimongal and picked up Shofiqul Islam, a professor in ~ a university in Sylhet city in ~ the train station. Shofique spent 7 month at Lamont in 2021 working v me on the folding and also thrusting that the hills in Bangladesh.


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After completing our very first station the the day, we quit for a rapid lunch of fresh made Shingara (samosas) gift fried in pan and also Mughlai (rectangles of dough with egg and also vegetables) that room being prepared.


The following day us headed eastern to organization the 2 farthest stations. The ICPS terminal is top top the roof that a major school ~ above the flank of one of the hills got to through control on negative roads in a remote area. The roadways are barely more comprehensive than our van, therefore passing other vehicles is always a challenge. This time, we can get the recipient working, however were lacking a key cable connecting the receiver to the modem. Without a replacement, we had to leaving it without a gift able come transmit the data. However, the is record the data internally. Top top my following trip, ns will bring the necessary parts and also Sanju will complete the repairs.


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At this culvert, we had to use bricks top top the roadway so the van might cross it.


We took a quick cut to the JURI station on the various other side of the hill. Instead of going about the hill, us went throughout it through the tea gardens and also then an eco park. This station is in a clinical clinic. They would like us to move the receiver the end of the birthing room, however this will have actually to take place on another trip. This time the modem was ok and after the repairs, JURI is back online. The trouble at this terminal is the trees growing around the clinic space blocking antenna’s view of the sky. This has been a problem at this station before. Betel nut trees are partially blocking the see to the north, however the worst is a tree who branches overhand the antenna. Sanju will need to speak to the clinic director following week around cutting down, or at least trimming, the trees. Looking in ~ the vault data indigenous the site, I can see the current data is around three time less an accurate than the older data.


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Having tea and also cookies in the residence of Adusalam (left) v Sanju (center) and also Babu (right)


The 4th station, SSPS, also on a primary school, was vandalized by who to stealing the batteries. The broken box was no longer waterproof and also the rain destroyed the receiver. However, a 6th site had actually to be removed since they broadened the college it was on, including a brand-new floor wherein our antenna was mounted. We installed the KGPS recipient in location of SSPS, however relocated package to within the institution in a secure storeroom. This made for a longer job. We had actually to reinstall the solar panel, and add a grounded lightning protector come the antenna cable for safety before it beginning the school. Still, us were maybe to finish in time to acquire Shofique to his train back to Sylhet. The SSPS website is in a beautiful location, but hard to get to. The concrete culverts end the tiny streams stood over the dirt road making it complicated for the van to journey over. We had actually to obtain out numerous times to lighten the van and at one website we do a brick roadway for this reason the van might drive across. It worked and also we could drive approximately the site instead of having actually to lug the batteries and equipment the last half mile.

After finishing, we had tea and also cookies, along with some hard-boiled eggs that Sanju ordered indigenous a adjacent store, in the mud and bamboo house of the head of the college maintenance committee. Then, for brand-new Year’s Eve, we quit for one afternoon snack at a an intricate resort through its very own tea garden followed by tea in ~ a regional tea shack. The comparison in style and price to be striking.


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We celebrated brand-new Year’s night by avoiding at a beautiful resort for a walk and also snacks.

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I was surprised to check out children and also parents at the institution on brand-new Year’s Day. Here, every the children get brand-new books to mark the brand-new year.