26 May 2009

Glorious weather continues

A view of camp from the approach of the old skiway, just before it was
taken down.

A view of camp from the approach of the old skiway, just before it was taken down.

We are so lucky with the weather. For several days, we have had little wind, and this is good as we are excavating a very deep trench which could very quickly fill up with snow if we had strong winds. Hopefully, we will be able to cover the trench with a roof before the wind and snow drift come again. Lone and Marianne have been hauling snow blocks several for days, so today they were assigned to bamboo cutting duty, which they promptly turned into an industry. Lou is playing around on the skiway with the Pistenbully. She is a skilled driver. Lou and J.P. have had lengthy “shop talks” on grooming techniques and snow texture and hardness.

What we have done today:

  1. Drilling.
  2. Logging ice cores. Last Bag logged: 300, depth 165.00 m
  3. Approaches of the old skiway were taken down. Apron extended East to new skiway. New northern taxiway to West end of apron.
  4. Excavating for elevator and staircase.
  5. Building up in the CFA laboratory.
  6. Groming in camp with beam groomer.
  7. Setting up tables and saws in science trench.
  8. Cutting bamboo and repairing markers and flags.
  9. Work on assembling the new NEEM drill.
  10. Grooming skiway and part of apron and new taxiway with tiller.

Ad.1: This is how the drillers' report looks today:
“The testing phase continued in the drill trench. We bench tested and then mounted the secondary pressure tube to the EPICA drill. It works generally fine with the new software with only minor modifications needed for better communications down hole and setting motor current limits. The pressure seals held under the liquid. Because of a different motor the motor turns at ~55 rpm (versus ~75 rpm in the primary section). After three runs and a hard (and strange shaped) core break, we removed the lower valve and replaced the seal on the upper valve of the hollow shaft in order to increase the drill stability. However, all subsequent runs were terminated by high motor current and antitorque rotation. We noticed minor damage to one of the cutters so perhaps these problems were due to a foreign object at the bottom of the hole.
Driller’s depth is now 152.23.”

Ad.2: The difference between driller's depth and logged depth is due to an off-set because the drill is below surface, and the drillers set zero depth below the floor of the drill trench.

Ad.4: It is tough to gain the last meters in the bottom of the shaft for the elevator and staircase. All snow has to be cut by chain saw and the blocks removed. This involves a lot of hard lifting and hauling. Henry and Sepp are particularly hard working.

Ad.8: Lone and Marianne turned the cutting of bamboo into an industry. Several hundred markers and flags were cut and carefully bundled. We have now markers for the whole airfield.

Weather: Clear all day, -23°C to -13°C, 2-5 knots from S, later NE.
Visibility: Unrestricted. Beautiful - again.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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