Situation Report #20, 8. 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

Today the second sleeping tent was finished quickly, and work on the recreation tent started immediately. This required a rearrangement of the food module, so the BELDC site has changed and the view showed in Sitrep #10 is no longer actual. The recreation tent has twice the surface of the sleeping tents and features a comfortable room and work places for the drilling teams of next season.

At Radix we have had to apply tension of 70 kg and wait for a very long 29 hours until the drill became free at 3 pm today. The subsequent measurement of the torque that the motor exerts on the drill is about 1 Nm, which we consider sufficient to cut the cold ice in the hole. We then changed the shape of the outer channels of the drill head in order to permit more flow of ice chips. This should hopefully solve the problem of blocking of the drill after a few revolutions in the hole. Radix drilling depth: 148.5 m.

LDC, 8.1.2020