Situation Report #15, 3. 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, no wind, ‒17 °C, likely one of the warmest days at LDC during this season

Today we had ideal weather conditions to mount a total of 450 kg of hull over the tent structure. This was very heavy work under the guidance of Luc, who has carefully studied the construction manual of 58 pages. In spite of the this description, many tricks needed to be invented on the spot and applied to gradually cover the structure. For example, bamboo sticks with attached gloves at one end not to puncture the plastic, were used to reduce friction when pulling the 400 m2 central hull over the arches. Straps were applied a opposite sides of the arches to maintain the correct form of the tent. All hands of the BELDC Team were used in this difficult operation.

At Radix, we still struggled with water and ice in the silicone liquid which lead to clogging. Essentially, our filtering procedure of the last two days has not yielded the desired results. Therefore, we decided to change the entire content of the hydraulic hose with silicone oil from a new barrel. Keeping the entire hose well below 0 °C ensures that any contaminating water will freeze out during flow in the hose and be captured in the series of sieves. we will see tomorrow, whether this brings us closer to drilling. 

LDC, 3.1.2020