The folks in Antarctica had a pretty definite idea of what they were looking for. Aside from cooking, Gigi said that this was a job I had preparing for my entire life. Here is the hiring criteria they had prepared:
· Native English language speaker. If not native, then a demonstrated high oral proficiency in
English with no heavy accent that would impede clear voice communications over radio
· Previous experience with aircraft operations involving fixed wing aircraft and / or helicopters using long haul HF SSB and short haul VHF AM or FM voice circuits.
· Demonstrated ability operating modern HF Single Side Band & VHF radio receivers and transmitters.
· Demonstrated ability with standard ITU radio procedures, codes and log keeping
· Demonstrated ability with standard ITU Distress, Urgency & Safety communications procedures
· Demonstrated ability to operate satellite equipment for voice and data calls. Understanding of satellite orbits, especially differences between geostationary and polar orbits and associated advantages / limitations.
· Ability to touch type (or otherwise type reasonably fast)
· Commercial Radio Operator License, Unrestricted (Full) Amateur License.
· First Aid certificate
· Understanding of HF (ionospheric) and VHF (line of sight) propagation & limitations
· Understanding of HF & VHF antenna theory. Able to diagnose and rectify simple antenna faults using basic test equipment and tools
· Familiar with and able to use basic radio test equipment such as Voltage Standing Wave Meter, Power Meter, Volt Meter etc.
· Demonstrated ability to use a soldering iron
· Able to understand block and circuit diagrams and diagnose major equipment & component faults (such as blown transistors, short circuit diodes, open fuses, short circuit capacitors, burned out resistors etc.) using basic test equipment
· Understanding of solar panel technology & its limitations (such as max. current per unit of solar radiation / insolation angle etc.), DC Voltage regulators DC – AC converters
· Understanding of different types of batteries (Lead Acid wet & gel, Nicads, Nickel Hydrides, Lithium Ion, Lithium Polymer etc. and the different charging regimes.
· Understanding of Specific Gravity & able to use hygrometer to diagnose when a battery has past its “useful service life” (i.e. not holding charge, not able to deliver sufficient power at a specified current etc.)
· Able to diagnose and rectify simple faults in power supplies, voltage converters, chargers & batteries.
· Understanding of (and able to tell the difference between) natural and man-made interference, how it is caused and general methods used to reduce or eliminate it
· Computer skills: Intermediate computing knowledge. ALE uses PCs, mostly running Windows OS, some using LINUX.
· Computer skills: Proficiency using Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel etc.) Able to assist others in ‘helpdesk’ style tasks.
· Computer skills: Familiarity with main web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape, etc.)
· Computer skills: Familiarly with main email clients. POP3 and similar
· Mechanical skills such as able to repair or make simple metal or wooden articles using basic mechanical tools (drill, hacksaw, file, taps & dies etc.)
· Understanding of and / or previous experience using HF data modes such as Pactor, or Amtor.
· Computer applications knowledge in common packages such as Microsoft Word & Excel (i.e. “help desk” type skills – assisting staff & clients with problems associated with using a particular applications package, rather than dealing with a software bug or loading problem).
· Computer networking skills, knowledge of Ethernet, TCP/IP, Ping command & Wireless LAN,
· Able to set up peripherals such as printers, scanners, digital cameras etc.
· Understanding of data protection and confidentially issues
· Rigger experience, e.g. able to use a gin pole, swage machine, turnbuckles, bulldog grips, D shackles etc. Understanding of mechanical stress, strain, guying techniques, pulleys etc.
· Language abilities in Spanish or Russian
· Proficiency in Morse Code (any speed)
· Communications Tower Rescue training or experience
· Mountain Rescue or similar “Search & Rescue” type training or experience (such as Fire Brigade, Police, Armed Forces, National Guard, State Emergency Services)
· Understanding of meteorological instruments & observations, experience with AWS
· Cooking Skills
· Advanced First Aid / Paramedic skills