Layering the Floor - © International Polar Foundation

in News

Report of Activities at Utsteinen

New expedition members arrived in Antarctica from Cape Town by DC-2 on 19 December. Their primary mission was to assess the progress of the preparatory work that needs to be done before the station's systems can be installed. Progress on this preparatory work, which had been done during November and December, was limited by a major logistical constraint: all materials had to be brought in from the outside while waiting for the cargo to arrive at the end of December.

Nonetheless, it was possible to move forward with installation of the ventilation ducts, the electrical network and the plumbing, all throughout the station. Also, the floor of the technical core was prepared to make it electromagnetically compatible to ensure that people and equipment alike will be protected from static discharge. This meant placing six layers of material on the floor, making it conductive so that it can guarantee that all electrical systems are at the same potential and safely get rid of excess electrons that may build up.

Things progress more rapidly after the first containers arrive from the coast, while the painstaking work to prepare the technical core continued. It's a job that requires patience. The first part of the job requires installing a hundred or so reinforcements in the station's wooden structure so that it can support the weight of the technical core. Following this, the walls and the ceiling will be covered with fireproof paneling coated in a rust-proofing substance. Only after all this is done will it be possible to install the technical core's systems.

During the first phase of installation, the large elements will be put in place in the station. They'll be hoisted via the station's tower to the same level as the technical core. In order to do this, we're using the crane inside the station, which has a vertical range of 10 metres. Part of the stairway will have to be dismantled, making access to the station more difficult. This is why this phase will be completed as quickly as possible so as to not slow up other work that's going on.

In other news, the station is buzzing with activity. The nice weather we've had these past few days has allowed us to unload several containers and continue working outdoors. We've eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next traverse team, who will bring us more pieces of the puzzle.

Johan Berte

Author: IPF

Picture: Layering the Floor - © International Polar Foundation

Press Officer

Journalists and other press members can get in touch with our press officer for pictures, interview requests or other material.