Vienna Visit

A highlight of the trip was our visit to Vienna. While we were there we were able to visit the sight of the Vienna International Center, a main office for the United Nations. I was in awe of its size. I had known that it would be big, but I didn’t realize exactly how big the buildings were. An interesting fact about them, they were built like triangles but with the sides sucked into the center so that everyone gets an office with a window.

The first place we visited was the CTBTO. This is the comprehensive test ban treaty organization, an organization that works to monitor nuclear tests around the world. The do this through a series of monitors that have been placed around the world. These monitors detect radiation in the air, seismographs that monitor quakes in the earth, and microphones that listen for explosive noises and pressures in the ocean and on the ground. We were able to see the control center where the data from all the monitors around the world come in, and hear some stories about the information they received during the North Korean tests in the previous years.

Then we got to see several practice sites that were set up in a field on the grounds of the VIC. The CTBTO had built several ground sensors as ways to demonstrate their capabilities and practice repairs on them. One of the sensors had a room that went down into the ground, which we had the opportunity to go into. The room was small, so there wasn’t much room to stand in, but it was exciting to be able to see how much work and effort goes into monitoring nuclear test worldwide.

I loved the time I was able to spend in Vienna. It is a beautiful city, and I look forward to hopefully seeing it again.