5 May 2009

Mishaps do happen

A view from the top window of drill trench

A view from the top window of drill trench. Trevor and Jakob push the drillers cabin in place. To the left, a section of the tower can be seen

Today the drillers mounted the top section of the drill. This is called the anti-torque. The anti-torque consists of three sharp curved spring blades that easily slide up and down the borehole, but the spring blades prevent any rotation as they firmly grip the inside wall of the hole. As an ice core drill is suspended in a cable, the anti-torque provides the anchoring needed for the drill motors to turn the drill head and cutters below. It is also in the anti-torque that the cable is fixed to the drill. In order to test if the cable is properly fixed, the drillers perform a pull test before the drill is lowered into the hole. Today was the day for the pull test. But just before it could be completed, the winch control broke down, and we had to install a backup. This works. Tomorrow the drillers will perform the test.

Also today, Hans Christian managed to cut another major power cable with the snow blower. This happened while clearing snow away around the other garage. Again, this time the cable was not where it was supposed to be, and we now hope for no more repetitions.

Later, in the evening while talking after dinner, we realized that the two mishaps might be connected. The cut by the snow blower of the mains cable created a power surge at the generator, causing several fuses to blow, and the lights to go out in the drill trench and exactly at this time, the winch control broke down. We are now looking forward to receive the new main generator power distribution panel that is on order. This panel provides the protection needed to avoid this situation.

What we have done today:

  1. Winch control broken down. A new control installed and is working fine
  2. Mounting the anti-torque section of the drill
  3. Removing snow around second garage. Another cable cut
  4. Groomed old skyway and ½ apron with Pistenbully and tiller
  5. Final adjustments on the heating system and water supply to main dome
  6. Laid foundations for two weatherports
  7. Made GPS fixes for start and end of new skyway

Ad.7: GPS fixes are:
North end: N 77 degrees 27.969 min, W 51 degrees 2.793 min, alt. 2484 m
South end: N 77 degrees 25.941 min, W 51 degrees 2.471 min, alt. 2484 m
Skiways runs 358 and 178 degrees true.

Weather: Thin overcast, later blue sky, - 34°C to -20°C, 7-18 knots from E. Visibility: 1 mile to unrestricted. Some blowing snow in the morning.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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