I was looking through the internet jobs posting sites, and I came across one in Colorado (a favorite "wish I lived/worked there" dream). It was posted for Englewood, CO, so I read on;
Seeking a unique adventure as well as employment? How would you like to be one of the few people on the planet to work and live in the unique environment of the Antarctic? Raytheon Polar Services is the primary contractor for the National Science Foundation's (NSF) U.S. Antarctic Program. We are currently seeking Electricians for contract positions, which include deployment to South Pole station in Antarctica, for the austral summer season (appx October to February) and/or the austral winter season (appx January to November).
Maybe a bit TOO adventurous for this married electrician!
I knew a guy who spent a year there, providing systems support for the station. He was a general maintenance man.
The stories were great! Like the time one of the scientists asked Alan to build him a simple table to be used outside for some experiment. They talked basic dimensions and construction, and Alan give the PhD a delivery time.
It was clear and sunny, with temps around minus 60 F, so Alan went to the materials stores (very well-supplied) and got the wood he needed, took it to the wood shop (incredibly well equipped), and machined the pieces. One of his fellow mechanics asked how it fit together, and Alan said that he'd know when he assembled it outside.
Word got around that Alan wasn't going to test-fit it inside, so at the appointed time, a big crowd gathered to see him fit it together. Alan told me that he was pretty sure eveything would fit, but he knew that if he screwed up that he'd be the talk of the station for weeks.
So the table has maybe a dozen pieces. Alan said that when he got half of them together, everyone was cheering for a screwup. He said that as he put the next to last part in place, he was sweating--at -60 degrees!
The last piece slipped nicely into place, the crowd let out a cheer, and Alan turned around and took a bow!
Another thing, the company running the facility at that time did it on a cost plus basis. So the staff was encouraged (well, ordered) to requisition as much materials and as many supplies as they possibly could.
Alan said that there was an area in the materials stores with 10 foot high shelves that went on for 30 feet with nothing but spare electric motors. The had stockpiled enough motors to replace every motor in the place three or four times over.
So he spent a year down there. He came back after overwintering there and had a tough time readjusting to civilization. It took almost a year before he felt comfortable again in a big city. But he said he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
Re: Adventurous Electricians#41646 09/05/0406:41 AM09/05/0406:41 AM
Looks like I'm missing out on Bennie's escapades. Is he a homeowner DIY, or a "professional" ?
I do wonder how they compensate for the temperature extremes when wiring. Obviously PVC outside is out, so no UF cable, or NM conduit. Even THHN wire's outer jacket cracks fairly easily here in the Midwest in the really cold times, so I'll bet ampacity ranges can be fudged in Antartica, just a bit. Sounds like a good place for testing superconductor wiring.