Situation Report #8, 27. December 2019
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 at 8 am: sunny
Finally, Dome C reported that four metal joints have been found which we were missing to complete the BELDC drilling tent. Massimo and Luc therefore went on excursion to Dome C by Pistenbully. This made a less busy day for the rest of the drilling tent team who relaxed and checked the backup generator. The mission to Dome C returned at 4.30 pm with the long sought pieces that permit the attachment of the final arches to the roof opening for the drilling tower.
Today the Radix Team focused on the casing and the packer system which will seal the top 107 m of the borehole where drilling liquid would be lost in the porous firn. At the bottom of the casing, the packer is attached which is inflated from the surface via a fine high-pressure tube. Several leak tests under different configurations were carried out to satisfaction. The casing was lowered down to 105 m where further leak tests were done. Tomorrow will follow the final placement of the casing in the Radix hole.