At present, Antarctica has a long polar winter and many stations, including the British "Halley", are mothballed. However, it is this facility that constantly receives up-to-date information about the weather and the state of the ozone layer in this region. Leaving the station on February 25, 2019, her team left on duty the innovative British Antarctic Survey autonomous system.
The development is unique in that it was designed on the basis that there would be no one to serve it for more than six months in a row. It only has the function of remote monitoring and reloading. Therefore, the station is able to refuel itself, which in 140 days of work has already done 81 times. She has to work 280 days, so the fuel consumption was reduced to a minimum, 6 liters per hour, which corresponds to the operation of the installation by only 10% of the maximum power.
Station refueling system
The design is based on the Capstone C30 microturbine, similar to a tiny jet engine, and this was a breakthrough solution - such technologies were not previously used in Antarctica. The entire installation is located in a separate room, provides itself with climate control, and so far has successfully withstood temperatures down to -43 ℃ and winds up to 80 km / h. The developers hope that it will withstand even more severe conditions - in particular, frost down to -57 ℃.
The energy of the installation is spent on the operation of economical equipment. These are a tropospheric state sensor, three meteorological stations, a communication module with a space meteorological satellite, instruments for an experiment in mesospheric chemistry. As well as GPS network support for the entire Brunt Ice Shelf. If necessary, the unit can generate up to 30 kW of power at peak power.
Engineers monitor the operation of the installation daily via a webcam