17 June 2008

Panels, panels and more panels

A game of dart

A game of dart after hours with the main dome as backdrop.

After the first relatively easy rows of panels, the crew today faced some more difficult ones. They now mount panels on the wider and more vertical parts of the dome. However, the crew has developed a routine so that the process went even faster. We now hope the weather holds. There was a yell of joy today, as the excavation of the drill trench was pronounced complete. Immediately thereafter, we began blowing the science trench.

What we have done today:

  1. Excavation of drill trench completed. It is now ready to receive installations.
  2. Mounting 31 panels on main dome.
  3. Blowing snow for science trench.

Ad.1: The drill trench is completed with a level floor at 6.1 m depth. Hour meter on new snow blower reads 95 hours. If time permits, we will mount the frame for inclined trench, tower and winch. Right now, the main dome takes priority.

Ad.2: Today nine people were involved in the operation of mounting the outer panels on the main dome. Now 54 panels of about 130 are mounted.

Ad.3: We began excavation of the science trench and the connecting trench. The connecting trench will be excavated to 3 m width until 3 m depth. From 3m depth to 6 m depth, the width will be 1.8 m. The excavation of the connecting trench will stop 2 m from the drill trench. When excavation of the connecting trench is complete, it will be covered by a roof at 3 m depth and snow will be put on top. Later, the science and drill trench will be joined by tunneling the last 2 m from 3 m to 6 m depth. This way, we avoid compromising the wall under the drill trench roof.

Comment: We are about 10 days behind schedule. We now focus on getting as many structures up as possible, so that most of the work of the next crew may be done in-door, i.e. independent of adverse weather. We hope this will give fewer delays for the rest of the season.

Weather: Overcast, - 12 C, 10 knots from S. Visibility: ½ mile, snow most of the day.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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