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IceCube Drill Camp Bubble Panorama

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

The drill camp for the first IceCube hole is being set up right now. There is not a whole lot to see yet. The site has just been fenced off next to MAPO and AST/RO. Some container buildings are in the process of being installed.

Please click on the image below to view the panorama:
Click on the image to view the panorama
Temperature: -36.6°C / -33.9°F, Windchill: -50.7°C / -59.2°F, Wind: ENE (62.8°) at 9.7 knt
Date: 2004-11-16 09:05:58 UTC

BIF and Summercamp Bubble Panorama

Monday, October 6th, 2003

The Balloon Inflation Facility (BIF) can be seen in the center. You can actually see one of the meteorologist launch a weather balloon. In the distance are Summercamp and, to the other side, the Dome and the
New Station.

Please click on the image below to view the panorama:
Click on the image to view the panorama
Temperature: -65.5°C / -85.9°F, Windchill: -85.0°C / -121.0°F, Wind: ESE (120.9°) at 8 knt
Date: 2003-10-06 09:54:49 UTC

Hypertats and Elevated Dorm Bubble Panorama

Monday, October 6th, 2003

Hypertats are made of blue sheet metal and they are a tent like structure for temporary housing. They were meant to replace the Jamesways, but they didn’t really catch on. We have four of them. All are named after the Flintstones: Fred, Barney, Wilma, and Betty. They are connected by a covered walkway to a bathroom, which is a major plus compared to the Jamesways

By the way, Hypertat stands for High Performance Habitat. From my experience, as far as the South Pole is concerned, this seems to be the ultimate misnomer. Anyway, the company is still in business. So they can’t be that bad.

The Elevated Dorm (or El Dorm or Beaker Box) is a two story building with dormitory style housing. It was the first of the elevated buildings at the Pole. It is now gutted and will be moved to the IceCube site soon, where it will serve as the Counting House.

Please click on the image below to view the panorama: Click on the image to view the panorama
Temperature: -65.5°C / -85.9°F, Windchill: -85.0°C / -121.0°F, Wind: ESE (120.9°) at 8 knt
Date: 2003-10-06 09:54:49 UTC

Antonov Biplane Bubble Panorama

Friday, September 26th, 2003

The Antonov Biplane was left behind by a stranded Russian expedition in 2001. The Russian members of the expedition were flown out to McMurdo and then Christchurch by the United States Antarctic Program. Nationals of other countries where rescued by Adventure Network International. It is rumored to have cost them US$ 25,000 a head. The Russians promised to come back and fix it, but it is still sitting on the Berms.

This was supposed to be a publicity stunt for the company that does convert the old AN-2 to a new engine, showing off how reliable these machines are. That went well :-)

Please click on the image below to view the panorama: Click on the image to view the panorama
Temperature: -66.7°C / -88.1°F, Windchill: -89.1°C / -128.3°F, Wind: E (86.1°) at 10.5 knt
Date: 2003-09-26 03:37:17 UTC

Scott Smith’s account on how we ended up with a Russian airplane seems pretty close to my take on the story.

Update 2005: Some deal was reached this year. Eight Russians came and fixed the plane for a week over Christmas. In return the Russians provided icebreaker support for McMurdo. The plane was flown to McMurdo and sent by ship from there.

Dome and Skylab Bubble Panorama

Thursday, September 25th, 2003

This shot was taken from between Skylab and the Dome. One of my favorite vistas. The New Station can be seen at the horizon.

Please click on the image below to view the panorama: Click on the image to view the panorama
Temperature: -65.7°C / -86.3°F, Windchill: -82.8°C / -117.1°F, Wind: ESE (102.3°) at 6.1 knt
Date: 2003-09-25 05:13:17 UTC

Dark Sector Bubble Panorama

Thursday, September 25th, 2003

A view of the South Pole Dark Sector. The Martin A. Pomerantz (MAPO) building is in the center. The DASI telescope (to the left of the sun) and the VIPER telescope (to the right of the sun) are connected to MAPO. The building also houses the AMANDA detector electronics. The 19 AMANDA holes are around MAPO. Building 61, a transformer and emergency generator building, can be seen in front of MAPO, to the right of the sun. To the left of the sun is the AST/RO telescope building. The new Dark Sector Lab (DSL) can be seen in the distance at the VIPER end of MAPO. DSL will house the new 10m telescope.

Please click on the image below to view the panorama: Click on the image to view the panorama
Temperature: -65.2°C / -85.4°F, Windchill: -82.2°C / -116.0°F, Wind: E (89.5°) at 6.1 knt
Date: 2003-09-25 00:20:43 UTC

Summercamp Bubble Panorama

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003

This picture was taken shortly after sunrise. The tent like structures are Korean War era Jamesways. Huge snowdrifts are waiting to be cleared by heavy equipment and the good old D1. Utility Techs will be busy getting Summercamp ready before the first plane gets here.

Please click on the image below to view the panorama: Click on the image to view the panorama
Temperature: -66.3°C / -87.3°F, Windchill: -85.2°C / -121.3°F, Wind: E (98.3°) at 7.3 knt
Date: 2003-09-26 02:47:04 UTC

Kite Aerial Photography – KAP

Monday, September 15th, 2003

I have recently taken an interest in Kite Aerial Photography (KAP). Basically you stick a camera on a big kite and take some pictures from up in the air. With the use of a 180° fisheye it makes for a very interesting perspective, especially here at the South Pole.

I work some software magic on the pictures to produce so called immersive bubble panoramas, which I think are very cool. Almost like being there.

I will be posting some of the KAP pictures. So please come back and check often.

Last but not least, I would like to thanks Eric Muhs for the inspiration and for leaving a kite (sponsored by the Drachen Foundation) at the Pole. Also many thanks to kite wrangler Robert Schwarz. Couldn’t have done it without him. May the Schwarz be with you!