Petersburg Pilot -

Alaska Science Forum: An aurora detector in Petersburg


On cold winter nights long ago, Harvey Gilliland of Petersburg sometimes woke to the buzz of an alarm mounted on the wall of his kitchen. He kicked off the blanket, got dressed, pulled on his rubber boots, and strolled three city blocks to the building in which he worked.

After Gilliland, an electronics technician, twisted a few knobs to restore normal power to an underwater communications cable, the buzzer stopped. The noise was there to alert him to excessive current on the cable’s power system.

On his walks back home, he wondered what might have caused the alarm. On a few of those nig...

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