This year in Antarctica, I worked at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Ice Core Field Camp for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) Ice Drill Design and Operations (IDDO) Group as a Field and Drill Specialist. I was on a team of four, with our primary mission being to disassemble, catalog, and package the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill and related equipment. The drill had operated for the past 7 or so years, and had completed its job and been decommissioned, so that we could pack it up and ship it back to Wisconsin for refurbishment and redeployment to a new site at some point in the future. Everybody had responsibility for multiple aspects of the mission. My specific responsibility, in addition to general mechanical and team duties, photographing and cataloging all gear and equipment that was disassembled and packed, as well as generally documenting our entire season – as catalogued in this blog.
In addition to the four of us, we were joined by two master carpenters from McMurdo, who constructed custom crates and shipping containers for us, as well as organized and packed much of the equiptment in the National Ice Core Laboratory’s (NICL) ice core processing arch, adjacent to the DISC Drill Arch.
We were at WAIS Divide for a little over two weeks, and during that (shortened) timeframe, we accomplished a huge amount of work. Here’s a brief timelapse video of the drill equiptment being disassembled and packaged.
Below is a short collection of photos, focusing specifically on DISC Drill disassembly and packing operations.