Field and CPL Updates

2005-2006 Antarctica

December 6, 2005
Update provided by Matthew Kippenhan
project update image
Digging out the Tucker Sno-Cat at WAIS Divide. Photo: Dave Zastrow

Science Operations:

  • I-163 (Raymond & Matsuoka -Radar ice anisotropy) has extended their visit at camp from 3 days to likely 10 days due to weather and delays in preparation. Camp staff is supporting the group with meals and heated space (where available).
  • I-177 (Sowers-Firn gas) is scheduled to arrive in camp by end of this week or early next; this group will likely experience a short delay in McM.
  • I-188 (Gogineni-Basal conditions and internal layers) schedule remains the same.

LC-130 Fixed Wing Operations:

  • Two days of blowing snow at WAIS has shut down all LC-130 operations.
  • McM weather forecast for tomorrow is poor; WAIS improving.
  • Materials to camp have been delayed with each cancelled flight.
  • Missions completed to date: 28 of 49
  • Flights to WAIS are scheduled daily this week. Cargo and Pax movements for the next week of flights have been arranged by the Fixed Wing Coordinators and are in place.


  • Recent weather delays have impacted camp construction efforts due to high winds, blowing snow, and cancelled cargo flights.
  • Major snow drifting has developed around camp, cargo, and skiway. It is estimated that one full day is needed to dig out main structures, cargo, and regroom skiway.
  • Main bottleneck for increasing camp population is the delay finishing the new galley.
  • Current camp population of 29 is sustained by a temporary 8 sect. galley RacTent which is maxed out for serving meals.
  • New galley is required before increasing the camp population significantly.
  • Main electrical power supply is expected to be up and running once the majority of electrical wiring can be completed. Camp is running off several small, portable generators.


  • Snow foundation stopped for two days from weather due to lack of visibility from blowing snow and the need to prepare camp, cargo, and equipment for storm.
  • Snow foundation is approximately 60% completed prior to storm.
  • Good snow density values have been measured ( slightly below 0.60 g/cm3)
  • Snow foundation to resume once weather improves, arch construction is expected to begin within 5 days once weather improves.

ICDS Power Requirement Review:

  • Sandy Singer, Pat Haggerty, Dave Oliver, and John Rand will be traveling to Madison, Wisconsin for meetings with ICDS on Dec. 7 & 8. They will assess the power requirements of the DISC Drill with Alex and team to better size the generators.
  • John Rand has been instrumental with the planning of this visit.