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Title: The CRREL South Pole tunneling system
Authors: National Science Foundation (U.S.). Office of Polar Programs.
Walsh, Michael R.
Keywords: Antarctica
South Pole
Unlined tunnels
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: CRREL report ; 99-1.
Description: CRREL Report
Abstract: Facilities operations in a polar ice cap environment present many challenges. Coping with the extreme cold temperatures, associated wind chills, darkness during the long winter months, and blowing and drifting snow all hamper installation, maintenance, and repair. For over 40 years, the concept of using tunnels for utilities and personnel has been tried with mixed results. In 1991, the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory initiated a project to design, develop, fabricate, test, build, and deploy a system for the machining of unlined tunnels at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. The tunneling system as configured during the January 1996 deployment was capable of operating at a maximum sustained production rate (>4 hr) of 1.5 m/hr for a 2-, 3-´, 116-m tunnel. The maximum operating depth was approximately 16 m from surface to the tunnel floor. The maximum length tunneled during one shift was 13 m, and the maximum one-day progress was 21.3 m. The system is described in this report, along with suggestions to improve the current technology.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:CRREL Report

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