Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Sometimes a Bully is Just What You Need

Greenland Inland Traverse manager Allen Cornelison introduces the new traverse vehicle

Pisten Bully. Photo: Jay Burnside

It’s a Pisten Bully 100S. http://www.pistenbullyusa.com/index.html

We have it outfitted with a winch and boom set-up that we feel will work better for the SCAT [crevasse detection activities] because the boom, winch and blade will move with each other rather than having to manipulate the winch and blade separately. The blade is also a 6 way blade meaning not only does it go up and down but it rolls and it goes side to side. So, if Allan D wants to see what is left or right of a crevasse signal, they may not have to move the machine but rather shift the blade back and forth.

Notice the brush guard and those xenon lights down midway on the brush guard, the halogen lights up high, the spot light, the warning lights and the amber rotating strobe/beacon in the rear (you only see one but there are two). This thing will light up like a Christmas tree on a crisp winter solstice evening. If a vehicle is looking for the PB in a whiteout, or a person, they just might have a better chance of finding it with all of these lights.

Notice the spoiler looking rack above the front cab. That is where we will mount the GPS tracker, Iridium sat phone and the Iridium Open Port antenna. It is raised up like this to keep the ground plains of the antennas above the cargo. See the cargo rack on the top of the rear pax cabin and the very safe ladder to access the cargo? You can’t see it, but on the rear it has a cargo rack that will hold about 10 gallons of fuel too.

Inside we have two 24V to 12V 20 amp converters that convert the normal 24v DC the PB puts out to 12v DC to help operate our equipment and charge batteries etc. We have an AM/FM CD up front with two 6 inch speakers for those lonely hours of traversing. It has a VHF radio, an Iridium sat phone, intercom between front and back and will of course have the Open Port. Lots of comms for safety.

The rear pax cabin is where the new GPR seat will go and where Allan D will be doing his stuff. The GPR screen will go back there as well. It has an Espar heater for the rear cabin to keep Allan warm and there are so many Arctic heaters on this thing that it should be able to melt Frosty the Snowman from a mile away. The wiper blades keep ice free as they actually have coolant from the engine running through them! Wow is what I thought.

And lastly, check out those rubber tracks. These are PB’s X Tracks. No more steel grousers on the PB for us. A very comfortable ride and great for gliding across the snow. I believe the ground pressure is 0.90 PSI. Less than 1 pound per square inch. We can run you over and you wouldn’t even know it (sort of)—Allen Cornelison

The Greenland Inland Traverse is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). CH2M HILL Polar Services and Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratories are working together with the NSF to develop the traverse infrastructure and route. The 2010 spring traverse had several foci: find a safe overland route to Summit Station to help reduce logistical costs and environmental impacts of conducting research there; provide a research platform for scientists conducting field work in Greenland; optimize mobility by focusing on the sled/snow interface.  For more field notes coverage of GrIT, click here

GrIT contact:
Allen Cornelison, Polar Field Services, CH2M HILL Polar Services
GrIT project manager
allen at polarfield.com

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