End of Project
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.
Halley VI Project Manager
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
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 part way through demolition
Halley V towards the end of demolition
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 – Scientists working on a tower mid winter – photo Sam Burrell
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
Lounge / Bar Area
Upper Observation Deck
Top of the Spiral Stair Case
The return of the sun at Halley has allowed the wintering team to visit the site and perform an inspection.
Halley VI from its north end - photo James Goby/BAS
The 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 side looking north - photo James Goby/BAS
Looking 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.
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.
The Halley VI modules at the Halley VI site
BAS 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.
|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.
Generator 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.
The upper meteorology observation deck
Inside the red module
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.
|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.
Module A at the end of the winter
Moving module A
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 and Halley VI modules
09/10 Season Construction
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 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.
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 panels from the Igarka - photo Susanna Gaynor
|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).
Young penguin watching the action
RSS Shackleton with the MV Igarka behind
The route from the ship to Halley Station from the cab of a John Deere tractor