I grew up in South East London, where the topography is flat and probably best known because of its appearance on the title screen of Eastenders. Family holidays to the Lake District and Snowdonia allowed me to relate to the post-glacial geography otherwise only seen in school textbooks, while playing with LEGO Mindstorms was probably my first delve into 'electronics'.
Starting to climb at Mile End Climing Wall at the age of 11 slowly because exploring the Southern Sandstone crags in Sussex. Learning to trad climb at Stanage opened the door to rock climbing in the UK and the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust course in Chamonix gave me a chance to try my hand at mountaineering.
A return trip to the Mer-de-Glace glacier in 2017 and seeing the extent of the glacial retreat with my own eyes, I began to look into remote monitoring of glacial environments. At the RGS IBG Explore conference in November I attended the polar expeditions workshop and have been looking for remote monitoring opportunities in glaciology since then.
The research question behind my PhD project at UCL is to develop a high-frequency (HF) version of the ApRES radar for use in synthetic aperture radar imagery. The ApRES was developed in collaboration between University College London and the British Antarctic Survey as a VHF/UHF phase-sensitive radar to monitor basal melt-rates on ice sheets with millimeter precision .
Challenges related to the development of an HF version of the ApRES arise from the relatively large physical wavelength of electromagnetic radiation over the operating bandwidth (20-40 MHz). Initial work has been developing and testing novel wire-mesh antennas, suitable for deployment in polar and Alpine regions. Future work is centered around the signal processing involved in succesfully imaging the glacial-basal interface and understanding effects arising from non-ideal operating conditions.