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Neumayer-Station III

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Neumayer-Station III


Neumayer-Station III, also known as Neumayer III after geophysicist Georg von Neumayer, is a German South Pole research station of the Alfred-Wegener-Institut in the Antarctic. It is located on the approximately 200 metres (660 ft) thick Ekstrom Ice Shelf several kilometres south of Neumayer-Station II.[1] The station's assembly kit was transported to its current position beginning of November 2007. It is moving with the shelf ice at about 200 meters per year towards the open sea.[2]

After almost 10 years of work on the project (beginning October 1999), including conception, environmental impact assessment, planning and construction phases, regular operation of the station began on 20 February 2009. The station replaces the Neumayer-Station II and the Georg-von-Neumayer-Station that preceded it. The expected lifespan of the station is 25 to 30 years and the entire project is estimated to cost 39 million Euros.[3]

Construction phase



The station was constructed 6 m (20 ft) above ground on a temporary two-level platform, and it now sits on 16 columns. Each hydraulic column rests on a solid snow surface. A garage and further technical equipment are located within a snow cavern below snow level at the front of the station. The moving concrete supporting feet are powered by hydraulic machinery. Through an annual lifting procedure of 80 to 100 cm (31 to 39 in) it is expected to prevent new snow from causing the platform to sink.

The station will run all year round and includes 210 m2 (2,300 sq ft) of laboratory surface, divided into 12 compartments; in total, double the area of previous stations. Within the 15 living quarters there is room for 40 occupants to sleep. All inner rooms of the platform are built as self-contained units, some of which have aligned connecting passages, depending on their size. The compartmentalized interior of the station is enclosed in sheet metal with an interior polyurethane rigid foam insulation.[1] The green metal girders in the “structure section” image indicate snow level, they are not part of the final structure. All items below the girders will later be embedded in the Antarctic snow.

The above surface construction of Neumayer III is predominant in the Antarctic, seen at other new stations such as the American Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Base.[4]

Assembly

The majority of the construction materials and the heavy steel frame were delivered ending January 2008. The plan specified that the last of the construction equipment had to leave Ekstrom Ice Shelf by March 2009. For construction, a construction crew of about 90 members[5] was needed. By mid-January 2009, the exterior work on the station was completed, so that further improvement to the 99 interior containers[5] could continue unaffected by the weather.[6]

The Interior

In addition to the previously mentioned laboratories and accommodation areas, there is a south-facing lounge with many windows, a washing room containing two washing machines and two dryers, a sauna, an information technology room, shower and wash rooms, a dining room with a serving window connected to the kitchen, a conference room, medical treatment rooms, operating rooms, storage rooms, a refrigerated area, a dressing room, a room for the heating system, a planning and training room, and a water-treatment room.

Data

  • main building height: about 29.2 m (96 ft)
  • platform surface area: about 68 m × 24 m (223 ft × 79 ft)
  • total mass: about 2,300 tonnes [7]
  • interior surface area (four floors): 4,473 m2 (48,150 sq ft)
  • heated surface area (three floors): 1,850 m2 (19,900 sq ft)
  • depth under station: about 8.20 m (26.9 ft)
  • three diesel generators: six 75 kW units, maximum and average power output 150 kW and 105 kW
  • Enercon (E-10) wind turbine generator: 30 kW
  • uninterruptible power supply: two 20 kW units with storage for 20 minutes
  • winter diesel fuel needed per year for heating, power, and transportation): about 315,000 litres (83,000 US gal)
  • water supply: 25 kW for snow melting using the heat of the diesel engines

Remote stations

At Neumayer-Station III, in order to minimize any effect that the main station's regular operations might have on the accuracy of scientific projects, small remote platforms are set up at a distance of 900 to 1,500 m (3,000 to 4,900 ft) from the main station. Magnetic, seismic, trace element, and acoustic research are the chief research missions of these remote stations.

Research

Previous Neumayer stations have been the center of continuous research since 1981 especially with respect to their observatories. In addition to the main research areas of meteorology, geophysics and atmospheric chemistry, which have been studied on the stations since the 1980s, infrasound has been studied for 5 years and marine acoustics since 2005.

Climate

Climate data for Neumayer-Station III
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7
(45)
4
(39)
6
(43)
1
(34)
4
(39)
−4
(25)
−4
(25)
−4
(25)
−3
(27)
1
(34)
2
(36)
4
(39)
7
(45)
Average high °C (°F) −1
(30)
−4
(25)
−9
(16)
−13
(9)
−16
(3)
−18
(0)
−20
(−4)
−20
(−4)
−19
(−2)
−14
(7)
−7
(19)
−2
(28)
−11.9
(10.6)
Average low °C (°F) −8
(18)
−12
(10)
−17
(1)
−22
(−8)
−26
(−15)
−27
(−17)
−30
(−22)
−29
(−20)
−29
(−20)
−22
(−8)
−14
(7)
−8
(18)
−20.3
(−4.7)
Record low °C (°F) −23
(−9)
−27
(−17)
−33
(−27)
−39
(−38)
−43
(−45)
−49
(−56)
−46
(−51)
−47
(−53)
−46
(−51)
−43
(−45)
−30
(−22)
−20
(−4)
−49
(−56)
Precipitation mm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
3
(0.12)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3
(0.12)
Avg. rainy days 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Avg. snowy days 11 9 13 14 14 13 13 13 11 12 13 13 149
Mean monthly sunshine hours 186 224 155 90 31 0 0 93 180 155 180 124 1,418
Source: [8]

References

External links

  • The New Centre of German Research in Antarctica - Neumayer Station III
  • realnature.tv Video-, Foto-, und Textberichte über den Aufbau der Station in der Antarktis
  • Video über die Station im Planet-Erde-Blog
  • Tagesschau, 20. February 2009
  • Neumayer III Station Webcam
  • COMNAP Antarctic Facilities Map

Coordinates: 70°40′28″S 8°16′27″W / 70.67444°S 8.27417°W / -70.67444; -8.27417

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