12 May 2017
Friday 12th of May 2017

The reamer just out of the borehole after a successful reamer run. From left: Kenji, Dennis, Trevor and Steff.

A really enjoyable day on the ice sheet.

We couldn’t believe it. No wind today and sunshine. It was a pleasure to work outside. We made a test of making an underground pipe for electrical cables. The test went really well, and not much extra time was used compared to the normal way of burying cables. However, now the cable can be retrieved, and this saves us from losing cables in the snow. The drillers passed a difficult spot today.

Last year, our borehole reamer got stuck and had to be freed with glycol. This left a “scar” in the borehole where the motor of our drill and reamer had difficulty getting purchase. The drillers had a few tricks up their sleeve, and today the passed the “scar” so they now can continue reaming in a normal mode. The software of our test radar began to complain and go down today. Bo traced the error to the built in GPS of the radar, it does not like a slow change in position, and since it was turned on a week ago, the entire camp has moved one meter. As we sit on an ice stream, this cannot be avoided, so Bo turned off the GPS function.

What we did today:

  1. The cap of the planetary gear of one of the main drives on Pistenbully 1 has been deformed due to high pressure. We have ordered spareparts and contacted the Kaessbohrer company.
  2. Work in the drilling trench.
  3. With balloon technique we cast a 50 m cable tunnel for the food storage tent. The whole process took less than 6 hours (including three hours for the hardening process).  Two hours after construction, the area was dozed with a Pistenbully, and the cable tunnel did not collapse.
  4. Test of radar.
  5. Making tags and labels for ice cores.
  6. Levelled the area around main generator.
  7. Transferred 10,000 liter fuel from tank at apron to tank in camp. One over wintering tank at the apron is now excavated and pulled to the surface.
  8. Work on mounting freezer aggregate in extraction tunnel.
  9. German snow sampling.
  10. Japanese aerosol sampling and snow experiments in progress.
  11. Water vapour sampling, methane sampling, boundary layer and meteorology station working.

Ad.2: Reaming with the last reamer today got past the point where it was stuck last year and regular reaming will continue tomorrow. Before that, the borehole was inspected with a camera. Grant was working on the torque control of the cable spooling device. The spooling device and a cable tensioner is used to unwind the 3 km long drilling cable from the winch to the spool and back again. This way, a constant tension during winding the cable back unto the winch is achieved. This process is essential to obtain an even wind of the cable on the winch.

Weather today: Sunshine all day. Temp. -22 °C to -32 °C. Wind: calm to 12 kt from SW. Visibility: To horizon.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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