This week, we’re spending most of our time in Black Hole, which is one of the meeting rooms in 222. The other meeting rooms have other cosmic names too, but they all have windows.
This section of training focuses on the software that, to oversimplify, collects data from the detector (aka telescope). So, when you tell this software what to do, you’re essentially telling the detector what to do.
As part of our practice today, we logged in to the real detector at the South Pole (over Iridium) and made a couple small changes. Our work was being supervised by a couple experts – the guys who made this part of IceCube – and we weren’t changing anything substantial, but I did find myself being a bit more careful than I’d normally be typing away in a terminal.
It would be hard to do any permanent damage to IceCube from a terminal, but we were still in the driver’s seat of a ~$300,000,000 machine.