Field and CPL Updates

2005-2006 Antarctica

December 1, 2005
Update provided by Matthew Kippenhan
project update image
Photo of I-163's (Raymond & Matsuoka) radar system. The radar system is being used to detect the alignment of crystals in the ice (ice fabrics). As ice deforms, ice fabrics are produced, which, in turn, influence further deformation. Consequently, measurements of fabric variations can help reveal the deformation history of the ice and indicate how the ice will deform in the future. The polarimetric radar measurement is the most feasible way to determine horizontal variations of ice fabrics. For more information, read I-163's End-of-Season Report. Photo: Kenichi Matuoka.

Science Operations:

  • I-163 (Raymond & Matsuoka -Radar ice anisotropy) & A-357 are in the field with all science cargo and are at full speed ahead.
  • I-177 (Sowers-Firn gas) is scheduled to arrive in camp next week. I-177 may be delayed in McMurdo a couple of days depending on camp facilities.
  • I-188 (Gogineni-Basal conditions and internal layers) is scheduled in a couple of weeks. No delays are anticipated at this time.

LC-130 Fixed Wing Operations:

  • Very active two weeks to recover camp schedule and maintain momentum. Good weather in McMurdo and WAIS has prevailed.
  • Missions completed to date: 26 of 49
  • Majority of camp construction cargo has been received on site.
  • Arch materials are next in line in preparation of beginning arch construction.
  • Arch footers and tools on site.
  • WAIS Divide has been backup to South Pole and other field sites.


  • Skiway is completed and fully groomed. Maintenance grooming has begun.
  • New skiway groomer has proven to be a major improvement and the design has work extremely well on the local snow conditions.
  • Tucker Sno-cat is running well and the forks have been very useful.
  • CAT 953 is up and running strongly.
  • Several tent structures have been erected including a temporary galley tent, communications tent, medical tent, twin otter and general berthing tents.
  • Galley and Mechanic's shop hard panel modules have started. This is a joint effort between Science Construction and the RacTent designer / manufacturer Jim Davis who will be on site till Dec. 10.
  • Camp generators and power supply is scheduled for next week.
  • 2-10k gallon bladders are in service with new secondary containment berms.
  • Full containment of fuel drums has been practiced. Additional fuel berms have been ordered for delivery to site ASAP.
  • Camp construction is anticipated to continue into the week of Dec. 17.
  • Camp close-out is scheduled for the first week of Feb.


  • Arch crew on site: Billy Texter and Drew Abbott.
  • Second team of arch crew scheduled to arrive next week. Third team after that.
  • Additional FEMC arch crew (up to 6 persons) is being organized in McM for availability to assist with the arch construction.
  • CAT 953 & Pistenbully 100 w/ Zaugg snowblower have started the snow foundation today. Up to 14 days till completion.
  • Preparation for construction will begin next week with the arrival of arch crew members and arch materials while foundation continues.
  • Arch construction schedule started 17 days behind original date. Completion is still anticipated around 31 January.