Situation Report #18, 7. 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, weak wind

The construction of the two sleeping tents proceeds well. To unload the substantial insulating floor elements from the fully packed container was a challenge. The foundation and the floor were installed within hours, and the frame was set in place. With the experience of the big BELDC drilling tent the building team is very efficient and finished the first sleeping tent today.

Yesterday's measures to improve the Radix drilling were not fully successful. In several attempts we have drilled another 4.5 meters. The auto-pull of the drill was low and vanished after a short distance. We assume that some process at the start of the drilling builds up enough force to eventually block the rotation of the drill. First, we will remeasure the initial torque that the motor transfers to the drill head. Second, we plan some mechanical modifications on the drill head to widen the flow channels. This should prevent potential accumulation of material close to the head. Radix drilling depth: 148.5 m.

LDC, 7.1.2020