17 May 2009

Now we hope for a plane tomorrow

When the air is full of ice crystals, a halo may form around the Sun.

When the air is full of ice crystals, a halo may form around the Sun.

After a late Sunday morning start, people went to their tasks. The drillers did a fine job, and they are satisfied with today’s outcome. We are now hoping the weather will give us some respite so that we may have a plane tomorrow. We have 15 people waiting in Kangerlussuaq, and some have been waiting a week! We have groomed our skiways all day, and we have coordinated cargo and schedule with our FOM (Field Operations Manager), Lars, CPS (U.S. National Science Foundation contractor for Summit and other camps) and the 109th (the LC-130 squadron of the New York Air National Guard). Sarah, our cook, told us today that we are out of fresh produce. We therefore also hope the plane makes it tomorrow for the simple reason, that it would be nice to have milk, apples and tomatoes again.

What we have done today:

  1. Drilling with HT drill. Depth 111 m.
  2. Repairing Flexmobil.
  3. Organizing electrical installations in drill trench.
  4. Building and lining up logging/extraction table.
  5. Work on food orders and food inventory.
  6. Grooming skiways.

Ad.1: This is how the drillers report looks today:
“Smooth drilling in HT dry mode continued today. With 134 mm diameter cutter configuration, the HT drill in the dry mode can produce 1 to 1.1 meter cores without over packing the chip chamber. Stable drilling throughout the run requires some patience in giving cable slack and very little cutter load to allow the head to clear excess chips. Squeezing it much more makes it difficult to extract the ice core, taxes the drill motor with high and unstable current demand, and results in an extremely packed chip chamber. The HT drill has proven once again to be an extremely efficient and versatile tool for many modes of drilling. We will continue with this mode for another 10 meters and then begin the switch to a version of the long drill. We are now below the depth reached in the 2008 pilot hole and thus have completely cleared the old borehole.
Driller’s depth: 102.35 meters (~111 meter below 2008 zero surface). ”

Ad.2: A broken oil hose to the cabin heating was replaced.

Ad.6: After spending an hour excavating the Pistenbully, we began grooming with the tiller. The new skiway has been groomed almost to full width, and the old skiway has been groomed 2/3 down along the center line. Constant blowing snow and poor visibility and contrast made grooming difficult. However, we believe that our skiways are more even than before.

Weather: Haze in the morning, later broken ceiling with clouds/fog banks rolling in, -18 °C to -11 °C, 16-20 knots mainly from SSW.
Visibility: 300 m to 2 km. Blowing snow all day.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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