End of Season Field Reports

2009-2010 Field Season

Raytheon Polar Services Company (RPSC) Activities at WAIS Divide 2009-2010
RPSC Project Manager: Matthew Kippenhan

Field Season Overview:
After numerous weather delays with opening the camp, the WAIS Divide (WSD) project safely concluded their fifth field season on 05 February, 2010. Weather was poor this season, especially for aircraft operations; however, snow accumulation and drifting was much less than previous seasons. This drastically reduced the need to recover from heavy storm periods and certainly kept the camp looking well groomed and tidy.

During the summer season, the camp supported 10 science groups, two media groups, and three RPSC field support groups (Byrd Camp, two CReSIS groom teams) with a camp population maxing at 55 persons. To keep the camp and science running, the New York Air National Guard (NYANG) flew 43 LC-130 missions frequently bringing in valuable cargo, personnel, and fuel while flying out 1,428 meters of packed ice cores to McMurdo Station. Inbound LC-130 missions delivered a total of 840,000 lbs. of everything.

The Ken Borek team (KBA) flew 21 days supporting a variety of science activities using Twin Otter and Basler aircraft. Their aircrafts are vital for science teams to reach deeper into the region.

Overall, the season was very successful in terms of operations, safety, and supporting science. The camp crew and construction teams did another excellent job despite typical field challenges and resource constraints. We all look forward to next season's "to near bed" drilling operations and preparing for the next round of science activities at WSD.