Week 5 at the Pole

Very faint moon in bright blue sky above the IceCube Lab.
Connor Duffy, IceCube/NSF

It was a busy week at the Pole. It started off with a LOT of heavy lifting for IceCube’s winterovers, Kalvin and Connor. In the midst of installing new power supplies for computers in the IceCube Lab, which involves a good deal of unpacking and moving hardware, they had to pick up the pace in order to meet a waste collection deadline for the packing materials. They estimate that they moved over 1,500 kgs (3,180 lbs) of cargo. They definitely earned their portion of the cake that was served in celebration of one of the BICEP winterover’s birthdays. Speaking of BICEP, Kalvin and Connor (below) both helped out with installation of a calibration mirror for the BICEP array.

Last week there was also an alarm call that brought all emergency response teams out to MAPO (the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory, another facility in the Dark Sector) for a suspected fire. It turned out to be a fault in the electrical panel, and no fire, but it was a good test of the teams’ response. And finally, there were also newcomers to the Pole last week—fifteen more winterovers arrived, some of whom IceCube’s Kalvin and Connor had met during pre-deployment team building exercises.

Two winterovers in red parkas, one on ladder, other standing beside, in the BICEP array at the South Pole.
Silvia Zhang, BICEP/NSF
Group gathered indoors around long table, watching while person standing begins to cut a birthday cake.
Connor Duffy, IceCube/NSF