Situation Report #14, 2. January 2020

Little Dome C - Beyond EPICA Drilling Site (75.29917 degS, 122.44516 degE)

Personnel: Saverio Panichi (ENEA), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Luc Piard (CNRS), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe), Massimo Frezzotti (U Roma 3), Riccardo Devescovi (Armi)

Weather: sunny in the morning, progressively cloudy, weak winds

Just before noon our four colleagues returned from Concordia Station with a fully packed sledge containing the front panels, doors and the hull of the BELDC drilling tent, two additional drums of silicone oil for Radix and food supplies for the next 25 days. The boxes were unloaded from the sledge and the assembly of the two door frames started immediately and was finished before dinner by very eager team of Luc, Riccardo, Massimo, Michele and Saverio.

At Radix we have dedicated the entire morning to pump the silicone oil through the hydraulic tube passing the 100 and 50 μm sieves which permitted us to gradually take out remaining tiny ice crystals. This procedure was followed by another run of cleaning the 107 m deep access hole which brought to the surface some more ice crystals that were removed. No more clogging occurred today. In the afternoon, some more filtering cycles with increasing throughflow were carried out. In the Radix tent during the day, the black tube absorbs sufficient radiative energy to keep the drilling liquid above 0 °C. Therefore, another shift in the evening is planned to cool down the drilling liquid below freezing before the next drilling attempt. 

LDC, 2.1.2020