Saturday, January 14, 2012

Another Emergency Fuel Tank Video

Another emergency fuel tank relocation video.  Read the previous post to see why this is being done.  This is one of the five tanks pulled from the End of the World to the main station near the end of the 2010 winter season.  As you can tell it was a typical windy day at South Pole.  At the end of the video we follow the D7 Caterpillar in the LMC tracked vehicle to a warming station.  The heater in the D7 dozer is not strong enough to keep the driver warm in South Pole conditions, so periodically he has to stop at a warming station where a portable heater can warm the cab.  As you will see this particular heater is named "YOKO".

This video has better views of the station and "backyard" area in the pre-sunrise light.  Sunrise is still a week or more away and temperatures are warming but still pretty cold (between -70F and -60F).  The lighted building to the left as the LMC approaches YOKO that looks like it is in a hole is the VMF  (Vehicle Maintenance Facility).  The entrance can only be reached down a snow ramp that has to be kept cleared. The VMF was built several years ago on the surface of the ice, but has gradually become buried by drifting snow during the Antarctic winters. These days a ramp to surface level has to be kept clear so the equipment can be brought into and out of the structure. The vapor you see coming from the area to the left of the VMF is from the power plant exhausts.  The exhaust is actually very clean, but the warm air meeting the cold Antarctic air produces an impressive vapor cloud. Technically that vapor cloud is really an aerosol cloud of microscopic ice crystals since the water vapor freezes almost instantly after leaving the stacks.

The day looks very light in the video because of the camera's exposure settings, but it was actually quite a bit darker. I apologize for the video ending so abruptly, my camera ran out of video memory.


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