Latest News

End of Project

Proud Project Manager - Karl Tuplin Proud Project Manager - Karl Tuplin

With the official launch completed on the 5th Feb and the project ceasing on the 31st March this will be the last entry on to the website.

It only remains for me, the Project Manager, to thank all of the hundreds of people that have made this amazing project the success that it has been. To thank the guys like “The Len”, “Pompey” and “Ash” who come back season after season because they just love working in this fantastic place. To thank some of the key managers who have been with the project from start to finish; John Hammerton and Peter Willmott from Morrison Falkland Limited (the main contractor), Peter Ayres and Michael Wright from AECOM (the engineers) and Hugh Broughton from Hugh Broughton Architects. And a very special thanks must go to the BAS in-house team of Paul Cousens, Steve Canham, Michael Rose, Martin Bell, Ben Norrish, Caroline Lewis and Lynne Slater without whose dedication and perseverance this project would not have been possible.

If you want to keep up to date with Halley VI and the staff who live and work there follow the links back to the main BAS web site and web cams.

Karl Tuplin
Halley VI Project Manager

Link | Posted by Mike in Uncategorized on February 5th, 2013

12/13 Season – Official Launch & Demolition of Halley V

The final season of the project and yet again another busy one. There are lots of smaller projects to complete this season such as the demolition and clearance of Halley V, the refurbishment of the Summer Accommodation Building, the construction of a new workshop and stores building on skis, all the snags in the modules have to be completed and on the 5th February 2013 we will have the official opening of Halley VI.

Whilst all the construction work was going on the science team continued collecting data for the long term data sets, ran a full field season from Halley VI, installed a new radar system and installed new instruments in the Optical Caboose and Clean Air Sector Laboratory.

In addition to all that Halley VI hosted two international collaborations. One was a high altitude balloon campaign with the US National Science Foundation to collect data from the stratosphere and the other was a joint Danish / US / UK aerogeophysics campaign to survey the Recovery Glacier area.

So a very busy season.

Halley VI – High Altitude Balloon being Launched Halley VI – High Altitude Balloon being Launched

At the time of writing the Summer Accommodation refurbishment work, the snagging work and the new build Workshop and Stores Building are all well underway and on target for completion by the end of the season. The demolition and clearance of Halley V has all been completed. For many of the staff at Halley this was a sad period because many had lived there for one or more winters and most had lived there for several summer seasons and regarded the place as home.

Halley V Station as it once was Halley V Station as it once was

Halley V part way through demolition Halley V part way through demolition

Halley V towards the end of demolition Halley V towards the end of demolition

Link | Posted by Mike in Uncategorized on January 8th, 2013

Winter 2012 – First Operational Winter

The first wintering team soon settled in to the new station and maintained a full science programme. Excellent results were received from the radars and the meteorological programme and spring ozone monitoring programme ran well. The modules performed well although there were some concerns with the generators towards the end of winter.

Halley VI – Star Stream - Photo: Anthony Dubber Halley VI – Star Stream - Photo: Anthony Dubber

Halley VI – Scientists working on a tower mid winter – photo Sam  Burrell Halley VI – Scientists working on a tower mid winter – photo Sam Burrell

Link | Posted by Mike in Uncategorized on October 1st, 2012

11/12 Season – Completion

This was another long and busy season, but it was a landmark season. The aim was to get all the generators running and get the modules warmed up after the winter deep freeze. Then finish off all the internals of the modules and commission all the building services so that we had a habitable station for winter 2012. In addition we also had to install all the science equipment and experiments and have them commissioned ready for winter.

It was a struggle at first to get the generators up and running, which delayed the programme. So there were a few tense weeks in the middle of the season before the decision could be made that it was safe to strip out and close down Halley V and winter in Halley VI. Once that decision was made at the end of January we all went in to over drive; the comms equipment, surgery and science equipment were moved from Halley V and installed in Halley VI, each module was completed so the BAS staff could move in and fit out with their equipment and the first wintering team had to be trained to look after their new station. Thankfully all the works were completed and the station became operational on 28th Feb 2012.

Halley VI – 1st March 2012 Halley VI – 1st March 2012

Typical Bedroom Typical Bedroom

Lounge / Bar Area Lounge / Bar Area

Upper Observation Deck Upper Observation Deck

Top of the Spiral Stair Case Top of the Spiral Stair Case

Link | Posted by Mike in Uncategorized on March 31st, 2012

Winter 2011

The return of the sun at Halley has allowed the wintering team to visit the site and perform an inspection.

Looking from the North Halley VI from its north end - photo James Goby/BAS

West looking NorthThe west side looking north - photo James Goby/BAS

The buildings are unoccupied and unheated and have therefore built up a layer of hoar frost which conceals their colour.

The east sideThe east side looking north - photo James Goby/BAS

Looking under the modules to the southLooking under the modules to the south - photo James Goby/BAS

The modules are survived the harsh Antarctic winter with no problems, and the aerodynamics have worked as designed to keep the snow off the skis.

Link | Posted by Mike in Construction on August 19th, 2011

10/11 Season - Construction and the BIG move

The aims of this season were to tow all of the modules to the Halley VI site link them up and raise them to their operational height, to test the generators and to complete as much as possible of the internals. As the images below show we successfully towed all of the modules to the Halley VI site, raised and linked them.

Z6 lineThe Halley VI modules at the Halley VI site

Z6 South EndBAS project manager, Karl Tuplin, at the south end of the modules

To get the modules to the new site BAS vehicle managers Martin Bell and Ben Norrish had to tow them 15km over a prepared ice track. It was an impressive sight seeing each blue module glide by at Halley V and the red module just dwarfed everything it passed.  At the Halley VI end it was incredible to see each one appear from the horizon gradually getting bigger and bigger then brought to a stop towering above us just a few feet from the next module. Then came the tricky part, manoeuvring the modules into position. When the modules stop moving their skis stick to the ice. So the BAS Project Manager, Karl Tuplin, used ancient technology “rollers” or in our case some short lengths of scaffold tube under each ski to prevent the “sticktion” and enable each module to be manoeuvred into position to an accuracy of 10mm.

Moving a blue module Moving the Red Module
A blue Module being towed to Halley VI The red module being towed to Halley VI

After several years of storage in freezing conditions Galliford Try were keen to test all the generators to make sure they still worked and to give confidence they will start next season when commissioning begins in earnest. All four generators were first checked by setting them up and dry firing them. Then they were tested and analysed under load. Thankfully they all passed with the minimal of works required.

Testing the GeneratorsGenerator number 4 being started for the first time

The rest of the construction  team were busy fitting out the internals of all the modules. This included installing the building services, constructing the walls, ceilings, floors and finishes. As you can see from the photos the rooms are really starting to take shape inside.

Upper Met The upper meteorology observation deck

Inside A Inside the red module

Link | Posted by Mike in Construction on May 26th, 2011

10/11 season - Module move to build site

Bad weather at the start of the 10/11 season delayed the arrival of the early input team by over two weeks. Therefore instead of a phased arrival of three flights over three consecutive weekends nearly 40 BAS and Galliford Try personnel descended on Halley as soon as the weather cleared. The work was still the same as the start of any year; flatten the wind tails, groom the construction areas and thoroughfares and build the temporary summer accommodations for us all to live in. The other main job was to dig out the modules and tow them to the new construction line. Last year we left two of the blue modules nose to nose long-side on to the wind. The purpose of this was so we could study the wind tails when we returned this year.

B1 B2 from the side B1 B2 from the end
Bedroom modules B1 and B2 from the side Bedroom modules B1 and B2 from the end

Having towed the blue modules last year we were confident we could move them relatively easily this year. So the main test for this early part of the season was the digging out and towing of the red module. We had carried out tests in the 06/07 Season and towed 166 tonnes so theoretically the red module should move quite easily weighing a mere 120 tonnes. However, it was still a nerve wracking time for Martin Bell our vehicles manager who planned and organised the move. Although there appears to be an awful lot of vehicles doing the towing these were mainly required to get the module moving and up the ramp. Once on the flat the two CAT Challengers could tow the module without assistance. Once on the construction line temporary power supplies could be connected to all the modules, lighting and heating switched on and construction could commence.

A in scoop
Module A at the end of the winter

Moving module A
Moving module A

Link | Posted by Mike in Construction on January 14th, 2011

Winter 2010

I think the winter picture of the blue modules and the aurora taken by Craig Brown the 2010 wintering electrician speaks for its self.Aurora over the modules
Aurora and Halley VI modules

Link | Posted by Mike in Uncategorized on August 14th, 2010

09/10 Season Construction

The aim of this season was to get all of the blue modules clad as well as constructing and cladding the red module. This was no small feat for the construction  team to achieve considering we were at the mercy of the weather. The sequence for cladding the blue modules was to start in the middle underneath and work outwards and upwards. First the underbelly panels were fitted followed by the leg sections. The underbelly nose cones and walls were then installed followed by the roof supported on the walls. Finally the two huge nose cone panels would be fixed into place. This sequence was repeated on all seven blue modules often with two modules being worked on at once and taking about two weeks per module to complete.

First Panels Nose Panels
Fitting the first panels to a blue module Fitting the nose panels - photo S.Gill

The construction team had to start from scratch with the construction of the red module. The undercroft was delivered in eight prefabricated steel sections. Each had to be pieced together off the ground, keeping them flat and level whilst the hydraulic legs and skis were fitted. The next stage was to build the two storey steel frame fitting the first storey and second storey structural floor panels as they went. Once the frame was complete the cladding could begin. The process was similar to the blue modules starting in the centre underneath working outwards and upwards. The main difference was it was much larger and there were four big window lifts, the two main windows at the front and the two cockpit windows at the sides. Amazingly the module was constructed and weather tight in only seven weeks.

Starting the red module Half way
Fitting the first panels to the red module Wall panels fitted to the red module

Fitting the window panel
Fitting the large window panel to the red module

Link | Posted by Mike in Construction on March 20th, 2010

09/10 Season - Halley Relief

While the modules were being dug out and towed at Halley, all of the cladding panels and materials required to finish the build were being consolidated at the Cape Towndocks and loaded on to a large freighter the MV Igarka.Cargo for Igarka
Cargo consolidation in Capetown

In preparation for the Igarka’s arrival and our own BAS ship the RRS Ernest Shackleton, which had food, fuel and passengers on board, we found a creek with some suitable sea-ice in it, prepared a ramp and prepared and edge.

Creek from twin Otter aircraft
Relief creek viewed from a Twin Otter Aircraft

When each shipped arrived it was an all out effort to get them unloaded and keep the construction site going. At the finish we had completed in excess of 400 sledge rotations just emptying the Igarka and created over 4km of stores lines for the construction site.

unloading the ship
Unloading panels from the Igarka - photo Susanna Gaynor

Cargo unloading Cargo moveing
Moving cargo away from the ship - Susanna Gaynor
Moving cargo across the seaice - Susanna Gaynor

Through all this the local penguin population would look on with bemusement. We would often get a gang of teenage penguins, in various states of moult, waddle over and hang around the mooring lines watching us and mess about with the lines and dead-men anchors (just like teenagers the world over).Penguin watching the action
Young penguin watching the action

Both ships
RSS Shackleton with the MV Igarka behind

The way from ship to station
The route from the ship to Halley Station from the cab of a John Deere tractor

Link | Posted by Mike in Vehicles, Construction on January 12th, 2010