29 April 2009

Gained access to trenches, cleaning up and and construction work begins

View from top of Main dome: Red domes and main generator.

View from top of Main dome: Red domes and main generator.

After spending a cool night, camp crew had breakfast at 7:30. Everybody went to their jobs.

Bruno and Hans Peter worked on all electrical systems in the main dome. Sometimes Bruno performed acrobatic moves rivalling even Tarzan. Sverrir and Hans Christian made good use of the Pistenbully to dig for and haul cargo and to move snow most of the day. Jakob worked in the basement on the main dome foundation. Sarah was cooking excellent dinners, and she manages to produce really good food in the middle of all the clutter inside the main dome. Steffen and Trevor worked underground in the drill trench. Henrik worked on the plumbing system and managed to get the cooks snow melter going. Oli was working on several carpenter tasks. He mounted a new Iridium antenna, and he was helping Henrik with the box for the cooks snow melter.

At noon today, temperatures in the kitchen rose above freezing, and in the evening we had +8°C in the kitchen and +16°C on the first floor. Quality of life has improved considerably.

What we have done today:

  1. Opening access to science and drill trenches, and activating the elevator to the science trench.
  2. Work on establishing new Iridium based internet system.
  3. Taking strain off center pole in main dome. Pole lowered by 5 cm.
  4. Working on cooks snow melter. In the evening we had drinking water from tap in the kitchen.
  5. Excavating and moving the fuel pallets, that were brought in by the last plane in 2008, to camp.
  6. Grooming the snow surface at the site for weatherport tent construction.
  7. In the drill trench: Pulling drillers cabin out from the wall and trimming the snow around it. Mounting and testing the linear motor on tower
  8. Rewiring all electrical connections in the main dome. Most outlets are now RFI protected.
  9. In the drill trench: Transporting arriving drilling equipment into trench. Unpacking and organizing equipment.

Ad. 1: The science and drill trenches were found in good shape however, some settling of the walls due to the connecting tunnel and the recess excavated behind the drillers cabin has caused the drill trench roof to sink in these areas. Temperature in trenches: -30°C.

Ad. 2: As Inmarsat decided to move it’s satellites in March, we could not be sure to have communication through this system. We have purchased an Iridium based internet system.

Ad. 3: The center post in the main dome does not sink at the same rate as the rest of the foundation. When we arrived, we observed a slight uplift at the center. Jakob went down under the dome, and managed to jack up the center pole. A piece was cut off at the foot plate to reduce it’s area. After removing the jacks the center pole settled 5 cm and is now flush with the rest of the dome.

Ad. 4: We have decided to keep the cooks snow melter form last year, and keep a new one as backup.

Weather: Thin overcast to blue sky, - 24°C to -21°C, 8-15 knots from ESE. Visibility: 1/2 mile to unrestricted.

Field leader, J.P. Steffensen

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