Operations & Maintenance at Summit Station

Summit Station’s Big House under aurora-lit twilight skies. Photo: Ed Stockard

Summit Station is a National Science Foundation-funded research installation located near the highest point of the Greenland ice sheet at 72° 36′ N latitude.

Since 1999, PFS has been meeting the challenge of delivering all services required to sustain a human population and support research at an altitude of 10,600 feet with a mean annual air temperature of -31°C. Our talented people are deployed year round at this complex research platform, applying their expertise in station management, food service, mechanical/rolling stock maintenance, facility maintenance, science technology, cargo & aircraft operations, fuels management, renewable energy and construction.

Station facilities include the “Big House,” which serves as the kitchen, dining hall, and office, and which houses a complete bathroom and laundry facility; the Green House/Berthing Module, a joint science laboratory and berthing building with lab and office facilities; and the Shop, a weatherport which houses the generators and is used for maintenance of rolling stock (Caterpillar D6 dozer, CASE 335 Magnum tractor, Tucker Snow Cat, Bad Boy Buggy electric vehicle and a small fleet of snow machines. A redundant 100 kW diesel generator system provides all of the electricity on station (actual capacity at 10,600 feet ~ 95 kW). The generator ejects heat through a snow melter to supply water to the facilities. Remaining waste heat is routed to warm both the Big House and Green House/Berthing module via glycol loop. Renewable resources, primarily solar power, offsets the need for generated power during the summer months. Summit maintains a 40,000 gallon inventory of diesel fuel to operate the station generators and rolling stock. Temporary shelters are erected seasonally. PFS also operates and maintains a 16,800’ skiway that meets United States Air Force regulations.

Need facilities support services? Give us a call or send us an email.
For a slideshow of full-size photos and complete captions, click on an image below.