Saturday, 28 January 2012

Halley 6 - first bit

In an earlier post (22nd Dec) on Halley 5,  I mentioned the two problems of building on a iceshelf - the constant accumulation (that plagued Halleys 1 to 4, but was overcome with Halley 5) and the flow of the ice to the coast where the only destiny is to become an iceberg - which is what would happen to Halley 5 if we didn't remove it first.

Halley 6 is designed to overcome both of these problems. Firstly it built on legs that keep the station out of the snow. Each leg is actually a large hydraulic ram, once a year, each leg can be sucked up in turn and snow bulldozed underneath; once every leg is on a new snow mound every leg is extended with the result that the whole station is lifted up a 1.5m higher than it was before.

Secondly, to overcome the inexorable movement to the coast, the whole station is made to be relocatable. The idea is that every 10 to 15 years the modules could be separated and towed to a new location. This would be a big job and we would need to rebuild all the towers etc - but it will be far easier and cheaper than building a new station.

HalleyVI in Jan 2010
We know the modules can be moved, because they were built in at the Halley V site and then dragged the 16km to the location for Halley VI.

The first module being towed in 2010/11

The biggest module being moved - nearly 200 tonnes.
More to follow....


  1. how much would the base weigh alltogether

    1. That's a good question, the Red module weighed about 200 tonnes, and the 7 blue modules about 100 tonnes each. But that was very empty, huge amounts of materials, furniure, food fuel etc have all been put inside. Then away from the main modules there are other buildings, towers, the garage, the vehicles and the fuel dumps.

  2. how much horsepower do the trackters that pull hally vl have

    1. Hello Brendan,

      The green John Deere tractor is about 200HP, the yellow Cat Challengers are about 325HP and the bulldozers are about 100HP. The Red module was pulled with one John Deere, two Challenges and had two bulldozers to give a starting shove from behind - that's about 1000HP. We actually get about 5% less power than this because we run the vehicles on aviation diesel which doesn't freeze.

  3. Hi mike

    Those modules are blue one is red any reason why. Is the red one like for oxfam disused clothes and shoes ?