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I’ve attached a couple pictures of the tanks we’ve installed at the South Pole this past “summer” season. We put in eight tanks this season, and plan another 20-30 each year over the next 5-6 years. The fabric held up well. I’ve also attached a press-release about the overall project in case you’re interested in a bit more about it.

TwoTanksInTrench linedup

The tanks are a part of what we call “IceTop” which itself is a part of “IceCube” (see attached press release). In the pictures are seen two of the 1000 gallon water-tanks, out of eight total installed this past summer (austral summer, that is, mainly Nov, Dec, and Jan when flights are able to get in and out of the pole) season at the South Pole. Wrapped around a framework above the tanks are the “sunshades” for keeping direct sunlight from hitting the top of the water, since at the South Pole the sun simply circles around the sky while staying essentially the same distance above the horizon day after day (finally setting near March 21 and not rising again until Sept. 21). This allowed the water to freeze more rapidly, a surprising problem even at the south pole, because of the rather large thermal heat capacity of water it takes roughly two months for the entire tank to freeze. Two light sensors, identical to those deployed deep within the icecap, are frozen in the tanks, with two tanks being deployed on the surface above each IceCube hole.

So, I’ll be ordering more material soon.

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