The contractor Morrison have successfully completed a trial build of the big red central module for the Halley VI Project. It was an impressive sight in the suburbs of Cape Town, attracting a lot of attention including a visit from the British High Consulate. Once built the central module will be the largest enclosed space BAS has ever built at Halley providing a focus for social and recreational activities on the station.
The module has now been dismantled and along with all the blue cladding panels is being transported to the docks in Cape Town ready for loading on to the Russian cargo ship the M V Igarka in early December. The season is fast approaching with the first members of the BAS team departing for Halley in the last week of October. At its peak during relief there will be 120 people on station with construction continuing right up to the end of February. This is going to be a very busy and long season, but hopefully if the weather holds a very fruitful season with the cladding of the red and all the blue modules completed.
Even though the modules will not be towed to the Halley VI site until Nov/Dec 2011 work will commence this season to start compacting the haul route from Halley V to Halley VI, a distance of about 15km. BAS are collaborating with the Scot Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in a project sponsored by Lankelma to trial newly developed test equipment and interpretation techniques to verify bearing capacities of the compacted snow route. Lankelma and SPRI have modified traditional Cone Penetrating Testing equipment, normally used for geotechnical surveys on UK construction sites, for use on polar snow. This should be a very interesting trial which if successful will aid the design and construction of future infrastructure works not only at Halley but at other polar stations. Further information is on the Lankelma web site .