Our work with the British Antarctic Survey


Friday 6th January – first day working at site VIa



After getting up at 10am I joined smoko at 10:30 for breakfast. Today will be my first day’s work at site VIa.
I was told that the H2 module was within one degree accuracy from the setting out established in summer 2016, and that we should use it as the basis for the other module alignment.  I was asked to set up a line to advise how much the H1, E2 units need to be moved laterally. Given the combined length of the modules was approximately 200m this 1 degree of variation would equate to a 3-4 metre offset from the current flag line. So it was important to reset the flag line so that we could minimise the amount that future modules arriving on site would have to be moved into alignment.

I haven’t carried out survey work for over 20 years, so this took me back to my early engineering days. The only instrument on site at this time was a dumpy level which is fine for levelling but pretty useless for any bearings etc. So first thing we got some timber pegs cut and hammered these into the snow so that I could form a stable base for the tripod legs that was not going to settle into the snow during the days use.

I used the dumpy level as a simple sight line across the three modules. I was able to record offset readings on the H2 module legs and therefore establish a leg line relative to my sightline. Using horizontal lengths between the module legs I was able to determine the offset to the other module legs to extend the H2 alignment. In the afternoon we were visited by a six Adelie penguins, quite remarkable given that we must be 30-40Km from the coast.


Click here to read more posts by Ben Rowe