With the construction due to start early next year, many of the different parts of the station are now being fabricated and tested before being shipped down to Antarctica.
On the mechanical and electrical front, the hydraulic leg construction and testing commenced during March, with the first four legs being produced at the manufacturers works in Halifax. They are due to be shipped to South Africa for fitting to the test module being assembled there.
This picture was taken during one of the leg tests, with the test leg fully extended. For ease of testing the leg was positioned upside down, allowing access to the hydraulic connections that would normally be encased inside the building at the top of the leg.
|A hydraulic leg being tested.|
The grey casing shown will be mostly concealed inside the building steel work and cladding, and has been treated with a special fireproof coating for structural protection.The white leg section is clad in a fibreglass wrap material, designed to protect against the severe temperature variations that the Brunt Ice Shelf experiences.
All of the hydraulics and control hardware were demonstrated to satisfaction during the visit, with many of the design innovations becoming apparent as the testing and demonstration progressed.