Feeds

Antarcticans to live in blue, ski-mounted, caterpillar

British design for Halley VI

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A British consortium, comprising Engineers Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects, has won a contract to build Halley VI, the new British Antarctic Survey base following an international competition.

The base is to be built on a constantly moving shelf of ice, and without intervention, the existing base, Halley V, will most likely end its life drifting out to sea on an iceberg. To prevent Halley VI suffering a similar fate, it will be built on skis, so it can be moved.

It will also be raised above the snow on stilts, as Halley V is, to keep it above the annual accumulation of snow - usually around five feet. Previous bases have slowly been buried and crushed under the weight of years and years of snowfall.

Relocating the base will mean the building must be lowered to ground level, so it can be shoved along with a bulldozer.

The new base design has two main platforms, each with six interconnected modules. It will generate more of its energy renewably, and should handle waste disposal better than its predecessor. It will also, according to reports, look a bit like a giant blue caterpillar.

It has been designed to be as flexible as possible, since it will the base of British scientific operation in Antarctica for 20 years after it has been built.

"One doesn't know what the scientific drivers will be in 20 years' time, what kind of science will need to be done," Hugh Broughton told the BBC. "Global warming will presumably play a huge part; but basically the building needs to be flexible. In our design, labs can be converted to bedrooms and bedrooms to labs according to the need."

Construction work on the base, which will house up to 60 people during the Antarctic summer, should begin in 18 months' time. The work is expected to be completed in December 2008. ®

Related stories

Huge iceberg menaces Antarctica
Giant iceberg slams into glacial tongue
Global warming cleared on ice shelf collapse rap

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.