Floating Support Base

The range of a Twin Otter (fully loaded) is about 1,125-km. The distance from Resolute to the Ice Team (who will be travelling along 140° Longitude) is 1,100-km.

There is therefore the need for a re-fuelling point, at some point along the plane's return journey, hence the two Ice Bases.

The Ice Bases will be manned by personnel who have experience of Arctic conditions. The job of these personnel will be to inform pilots of weather conditions, on the ground, and to mark out and maintain a suitable runway.

Ice Base staff need to keep an eye on the state of the ice runway, which needs to be 305m in length and at least 60cm thick in order for the Twin Otters to land.

Fog also starts to become an issue in the later stages of the expedition, as the slightly warmer temperatures meet the cold open water exposed by the ice break-up. Flying in such conditions is particularly dangerous, making re-supply runs that much more difficult to complete and the role of the Ice Base staff that much more critical.

"Floating Support Base" blog posts
Training for the Catlin Arctic Survey
Posted by Jon Stratford
As personal trainer to the ice team what was my main focus? Their physical preparation? Partly, and I’m sure that at times over recent weeks that they would rather be on their knees (literally!)...more
Thursday, 09th April 2009
Spring in our step
Posted by Pen Hadow
It’s hard to believe I’m feeling so much better because temperatures here have risen to -24 degrees C! By any standard that’s not exactly warm, but it feels like a new world compared to the -40!...more
Tuesday, 24th March 2009
No Go
Posted by Ian Wesley
Up at the crack of an Arctic dawn today. Today is the day that I'm going to see the ice team – or so I thought....more
Monday, 16th March 2009
Utterly bombproof
Posted by Pen Hadow
I once described Martin during a press conference as “utterly bombproof in a polar environment”, a remark that I stand by to this day. Not only does he capture the very essence of the moment in his images, be it action, emotion or event, he does so in the most inhospitable of conditions. Where others fade and head to warmer climates, Martin comes to the fore, delivering awe-inspiring images despite the bitter cold and cutting winds....more
Saturday, 14th March 2009
Posted by Simon Harris-Ward
At around 2200 local time, as Pen, Ann and Martin lay in their tent, they felt the ice vibrating dramatically underneath them and heard the all too familiar screeching sound of grating ice floes......more
Tuesday, 03rd March 2009

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