Full action: Thursday morning to Friday morning 0630 – University of Copenhagen

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EastGrip - The East Greenland Ice-core Project > Field Diaries Folder > UK diaries 2016 > Full action: Thursday ...

12 May 2016

Full action: Thursday morning to Friday morning 0630

Thursday 12th of May 2016

Balloons lined up before unpacking.

Now the big task is done: All balloons are now buried under several meter snow, and the snow surface is flat again with only a few ventilation shafts and hoses sticking out of the snow. A few bamboo flags mark the site of the days and nights drama.

We started early, mounting the last ventilation shafts and arranging the balloons in the bottom of the excavated trench. Then the hoses were connected and all hoses were led to a tent housing our pump station. At 1600 pumping began, and after 2 hours the small balloons were pressurized. At 2130 the large green balloon was pressurized, followed by the white NEEM balloon at 2230.

Then we began to blow snow back onto the balloons with the Pistenbully and a Yanmar. The other Pistenbully maintained a snow supply by pushing snow. We worked through the night and at 0630 the task was completed. Now we have to wait three days, where we maintain pressure in the balloons, until the snow hardens. In three days it will be revealed if the operation has been a success. At least, the balloon part has been a success through the hard work of all camp personnel, and through the careful production and supply of all necessary balloons and parts by the Danish company Presenco.

What we have done today:

  1. Unpacking balloons and placing them into position.
  2. Bringing warm air hoses to the site in the back of a Pistenbully.
  3. Setting up pump station in pop-up tent.
  4. Laying extension cable to pump site and installing carpenters distribution box.
  5. Inflating balloons and blowing snow back.


Weather today: Mostly clear, in the night thin clouds. Temp. – 15 °C to
-27 °C, Wind 10-15 kt from W to SW.  Visibility: To horizon.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

Thursday 12th of May 2016

Laying hoses. From left to right: Christian, J.P., Joel, Malte and Kaitlin

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