IceCube construction begins at the South Pole
How do you construct a cubic kilometer detector in the Antarctic ice? Slowly, carefully…and with a 4.8-megawatt hot-water drill that can penetrate more than two kilometers into the ice in less than two days.
After the hot-water drill bores cleanly through the ice sheet, deployment specialists attach optical sensors to cable strings (each string gets 60 sensors) and lower them to depths between 1,450 and 2,450 meters. The ice itself at these depths is completely dark and optically ultratransparent (no bubbles here!). Deployment takes about 11 hours per string. One string was deployed in the Antarctic summer of 2004: #21 in the numbering scheme of the array.