Sunday, 9 March 2014

Latest happenings

One of the great things about Davis is we are within comfortable helicopter range (around 80kms) to the Larsemann Hills where there are currently 4 stations from other countries. The Russians have Progress I (which is now abandoned) and Progress II, the Chinese have a station named Zhongshan, the Indians have Bharathi and Romania have a very small station called Law-Racoviţă which was donated to them by Australia in 2006. Due to this proximity we get occasional visits from the other countries and last weekend we had 20 Indian expeditioners flown over by the Russians and Koreans (who are contracted to do air ops for the Indian program).

Its great to see some fresh, friendly faces and our visitors always seem to enjoy the guided tours of our station and of course exchanging gifts!

The Russian helicopter in particular was very interesting. They were using a civilian version of the Kamov KA-27 Helix. It uses 2 sets of rotors that spin in opposite directions which means it doesn't need a tail-rotor.

Whichever angle you look at it from, its a pretty impressive machine!

The building that I am featuring this time is one of the more distinctive buildings on station, the ANARESAT dome!

This oversized golf ball looking structure houses our satellite that is used for the Internet and majority of our communications to the rest of the world.

It is actually constructed from numerous odd shaped panels made from a canvas type material which bleed light when you are inside and make a pretty great photo!

The dish contained inside can rotate around to maintain the best contact with the communications satellites.

Lately the weather has been changing and we have been getting a bit more snow. It makes the station look much nicer and a bit more like Antarctica instead of a mining camp...

Even though it has been snowing more, we are still getting sunny days and swings in temperatures (from -12 to 0) which melts the snow then refreezes overnight leaving some pretty cool icicles! 

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