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Title: Delivery of fuel and construction materials to South Pole Station
Authors: National Science Foundation (U.S.). Division of Polar Programs.
DenHartog, Stephen L.
Blaisdell, George L.
Keywords: Antarctica
Ice runways
Snow runways
Cold weather conditions
South Pole Station, Antarctica
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Special report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 93-19.
Description: Special Report
Abstract: Plans are underway to rebuild South Pole Station, ideally with minimal impact on the current science and operational program. The new station will require the delivery of massive amounts of construction materials to this remote site. The existing means of delivering material and fuel to the South Pole include the use of specialized and rare LC-130 Hercules aircraft that can operate on wheels or skis,and some materials are also air-dropped from C-141 aircraft. Neither of these delivery systems is expected to be capable, within a reasonable time period, of supporting both current operations and the transport needs for construction of a new station. Several options for moving construction materials and fuel to South Pole Station are analyzed. All of our options assume that goods will be transported to the Antarctic continent by ship. The options include a) construction of a snow runway at the South Pole capable of supporting wheeled aircraft, b) development of an inland blue-ice runway capable of supporting heavy wheeled aircraft, located as close as possible to the South Pole, with over-snow vehicle haulage from the runway to the Pole (two potential sites are considered), c) over-snow vehicle haulage from McMurdo across the Ross IceShelf, up the Skelton or another glacier, and over the polar plateau to the Pole, and d) vehicle haulage from some coastal station (located at about 67°S latitude) with an easier access route onto the polar plateau. Pros and cons of these options are discussed and issues associated with each are identified. The feasibility and risk associated with each option are covered as well. Estimates of costs for many of the factors involved with each option allow financial comparison of each delivery scheme. Ultimately, the results of this study are probably best used as a starting point for any serious planning and budgeting for the development of a new South Pole Station.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Special Report

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