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Blue-ice Airfields

ALE uses blue-ice airfields to land wheeled aircraft in Antarctica. These snow-free areas are a cornerstone of our operations. But what are blue-ice fields? How are they formed? And what makes them so special? Blue-ice fields are glacial areas that remain snow-free. Most of the Antarctic ice sheet is covered by snow, since the accumulation [...]

10 Things to Know about the Ilyushin-76TD

Posted  04/13/16 in Air Transport, General Interest, Services

Did you know the IL-76 has two flight decks or that school bus can fit inside it? Learn more about this amazing aircraft and how it's used in Antarctica.

In the Spotlight - Alan Homer

Posted  07/29/15 in General Interest, Overland Transport

Al may be the most elusive member of the ALE team and it took a bit of bribery to trick him into giving us an ‘interview’. Al works behind the scenes, overseeing ALE's mechanical services department and without him, Union Glacier Camp wouldn't run. So meet the man behind the machines - and be warned [...]

Camp Improvements

Posted  07/27/15 in Camp Services, General Interest

We're always looking for ways to enhance our guests' experience in Antarctica. Since moving our main camp to Union Glacier in 2010, we've made major investments in infrastructure and equipment. The trend continues this season with three new structures, two major pieces of equipment, a new fleet of cross-country skis, and additional fat tire bikes.

Summer Polar Bootcamp

ALE Travel Safety Manager, Seth Timpano, attended a week-long Bootcamp in July 2014. But instead of marching drills and push-ups, this Bootcamp focused on satellite imagery in the Polar Regions. We asked Seth about the course and how it could apply to his work in Antarctica.

The single greatest hazard

The word ‘Antarctica’ usually brings to mind images of extreme cold and snowstorms, but the single greatest hazard at any Antarctic station is fire. Antarctic holds roughly 70% of the earth’s fresh water, but that ‘water’ is locked away in vast ice sheets that cover the continent. Combine this lack of readily available water, with [...]

Beacons in Antarctica

Accurate information on the location and status of people and resources under our care is key to ALE’s safety management process. ALE’s safety management process includes: Routine communications Emergency communications Capability for two-way voice communications between base and all sites 24 hours a day Back-up or reserve systems A pre-determined Emergency Response Plan ALE maintains [...]

First Weather Images of the Season

Posted  09/10/14 in General Interest, Meteorology

The first Automatic Weather Station (AWS) images of the season are in! Upgrades and new weather stations in 2014 will provide flight crews with more and better weather information.

Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Review

Posted  07/31/14 in General Interest, Overland Transport

A review of the Subglacial Lake Ellsworth project was recently published in The Annals of Glaciology. The article included details of the Lake Ellsworth field experiment, the circumstances that led to its failure and the corrections required for future success. This UK project, involving the British Antarctic Survey, the National Oceanography Centre and several Universities, [...]

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