Wintering at the South Pole for IceCube

Freija Descamps


The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is located at the geographical South Pole, where the Sun rises and sets only once a year and the temperature can drop to -70 degrees Celsius. The station has been inhabited continuously since the arrival of an eighteen person construction crew in 1956. Today, the population can grow to 250 or more in the short and busy summer months. Toward the middle of February, when it gets too cold to safely land planes, the station switches to a skeleton crew of "winter-overs". They stay behind in complete isolation for eight months to operate and maintain the station and the scientific instruments. I will talk about my experience as a winter-over working for IceCube during the 2011 winter.