The epic four-day Antarctic trek to maintain one IoT device

If you thought it was difficult maintaining your IT hardware, spare a thought for the staff at Casey Station.

The staff at this Australian Antarctic base have just detailed their four-day trip to Law Dome, a mountain on which rests an automatic weather station that uses a bunch of sensors and a satellite uplink. The journey required a 240km trek across ice and snow and may just set a new benchmark for IT repair services! All photos come from Craig Butsch, a Senior Observer with the Bureau of Meteorology.

on Oct 11 2019 12:34PM

This is what it looks like on the long, slow, ascent to Law Dome. Snow, snow and more snow.

The expedition hauls a couple of shipping containers containing supplies and living quarters.

Another shot of the traverse fleet.

And here's a look inside those quarters.

The camp at Law Dome. It was minus 25 at night. So don't you complain next time you're called out to do a job at night, okay?

Mission objective: the automated weather station.

And the weather station close-up, covered in frost. Which is unusual in Antarctica, Butsch wrote, because you need moisture and still conditions for frost to form. Antarctica is infamous for being dry and very windy.

The weather station after a nice clean-up.

Job done. Craig Butsch at the weather station.

Heading home to Casey with some money-can't buy views to ponder.

The return journey saw rather more typical weather: a forty-hour blizzard with winds over 100 km/h buried the tractor and saw super-fine dry snow sneak into the vehicles.

This is what it looks like on the long, slow, ascent to Law Dome. Snow, snow and more snow.

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