Heard Island Expedition 1997 (Planning Documents)


Robert Schmieder KK6EK

If you have a JAVA-enabled web browser, you can see our animated simulated campsite: simCampsite.

Source: Australian Antarctic Division



This is a draft of the site plan developed by KK6EK and NP4IW. The diagram is to scale. The philosophy of this layout was:

1. Assume that the landing will be at Atlas Cove, and that the main camp should be placed near (but not within) the old ANARE station.

2. Keep the beams in a single line facing roughly north-west. Arrange the vertical arrays for least cross-talk to the beams.

3. Separate the antennas as much as possible.

4. Locate the generators in as few different locations as possible, as far as possible from living and working quarters.

5. Use the preferred vehicle track as a road. Locate all shelters and antennas on that road.

6. Avoid ANARE, areas too far north (rocky), too far south (wet).


The path to US-W is not good, due to the presence of the mountain Big Ben. The optimum orientation of the antennas is not yet known.


The "Com Site" is part of the central living facility. It contains lowband operating radios, satellite radios, computer data processing, scientific station, data archives, and monitor radio. The generators are located away from the site, for sound reduction. The verticals are all driven from the Com center. Not shown in the diagrams above is the satellite antennas to be provided by PA3AUU.


The two "OP Sites" contain the majority of the beams, sligned roughly broadside to Europe. The beams are spaced approximately 100 ft. apart. In the following diagram there is an unresolved conflict between the A3S tribander (attached to the OP-1 tent) and the 15 m monobander (attached to the OP-2 tent). This is not the final inventory of antennas.


To EuTo JA



The main living facilities consist of four 12x24 ft Weatherhaven shelters arranged in a rectangular grid, supported by generators, water supply, storage, and emergency equipment. The main storage warehouse will be in crates outside. High-use items and food will be stored in the Galley.

Living quarters
Here is an elevation of the camp, seen from the West. The toilet is the blue shell at the right. The center blue shell is the combination drying room/shower.

Here is an overhead view of the camp. The shelters are all connected by a wooden walkway (4 ft. wide plywood sheets). It is possible to move between all these shelters without contacting the ground. The walkway can be kept clean by washing. The toilet and drying room/shower are pre-fabricated fiberglass shells of the kind used for toilets at construction sites. The drying room will have a hot air blower and coat hangers. The hot tank is merely a crate, reinforced with steel bands and lined with a tarp, filled with water, and heated. About 1 kW-hr of electric power will heat 1 cu. ft. water 30 deg. C (piping hot). This will be used only if we are able to find a local supply of reasonably clean water, and our power supply is sufficient. The arrangemement of anchors is discussed below.

Here is a floorplan of the living facility. The sleeping quarters provide for 10 people in each shelter, each person with his own private locker. No one's head lies closer than 10 ft. from the door. Everyone can reach his locker sitting on his own cot, except the two end persons, whose lockers are near the entrance.

The Galley Shelter
The galley shelter is a multi-purpose 12x24 ft. room for eating, greeting, and meeting. We can seat 16 people around the two tables (somewhat crowded). The galley itself is separated from the living area by tables. Food, snacks, water, and drinks are placed on these tables for the participants.

The Operating Shelters

These are 8x8 ft. square. The small size of these shelters forces a simple floorplan. There will be one shelter for CW and one for SSB.

Erecting the shelters

Here is the plan for the foundation. Each 12x24 ft. unit is constructed entirely of 2x4s nailed together. The walkway is 4x8 ft sections bolted together. The shelters and walkway are bolted together. There is insulation between the joists.

Here is the plan for attaching the plywood sheets to the foundation.

Here is a plan for erecting the 12x12 shelters. The main plan calls for two of these to be combined into a single 12x24 ft shelter, to contain the COM site and the warehouse. It is feasible, however, to erect these shelters free-standing..


The wooden foundations of the shelters will be anchored at their edges to bedrock, using rock anchors made by Hilti. These anchors consist of an internally threaded steel shell held in a hole drilled in the rock with epoxy. An eye-bolt is screwed into the shell. The combination is rated at about 2500 lbf.

The shelters are oriented lengthwise to the wind, which is predominantly from the West, with their doors facing inward, toward each other. The shelters normally are held with a set of parallel transverse straps. We have added the longitudinal strap inside each shelter, clamped to the frame. The ends of the straps are tied to the bedrock eye-bolt anchors. This forms a harness that captures the shelters and holds them to the ground.

The shelters themselves are capable of withstanding winds of more than 100 mph. We have calculated the pressure due to 100 mph winds on the ends of the shelters as about 30 lbf/sq-ft, or about 3000 lbf total on the end face. The anchors are easily capable of holding such forces.


Here is a picture of one of the operating shelters (on Peter I). They are 8x8 ft square. The sleeping shelters are 12x24 ft. square. All shelters have plywood floors on 2x4 frames, and are insulated.

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Last update: 17 Nov. 1996 Robert W. Schmieder cordell@ccnet.com