Schedule & Deployment


2016/17 Field Season 

November – January:

GPS relocation team

  • Service eight existing GPS Stations
  • Relocate three of the stations to better support the SALSA work
  • Conduct temporary GPS experiments

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Drill Team:

  • Prepare containers for science traverse to Camp 20 (Location of Subglacial Lake Mercer)
  • Inspect and inventory all components of the drill system
  • Prepare shopping list for 2017-18 work
  • Receive the HRU (Hose Reel Unit) from USAP (United States Antarctic Program) cargo vessel in late January 2017
  • Stage hot water drill system and prepare other traverse modules for staging at Camp 20, which may include:
    • Sled-mounted scientific laboratories (Sediment and Chemical Units)
    • One LARS (Launch and Recovery System) sled
    • Knuckle boom crane
    • One generator
    • Power distribution module (PDM)



2017/18 Field Season


  • Two to four UNL Drillers will deploy to prepare remaining container for science traverse.


  • Deploy ASC  (Antarctic Support Contract) camp staff and construction crew to worksite
  • Three participants from the GPS Team to deploy for approximately four weeks to:
    • service the eight GPS stations
    • switch out batteries as needed
    • conduct temporary GPS experiments as described above


  • Science team deploys to MCM (McMurdo Station) for equipment staging and preparation for field work.
  • Science traverse fleet and SPoT (South Pole Traverse) to move the remaining traverse modules and components to a location along the SPoT route.


  • Remaining eight drill staff will deploy to conduct drilling activities at the SALSA field camp.
  • Science team deploys to SALSA Field Camp and conduct scientific operations sample collection and testing.
  • Drilling and sampling to be completed by mid- to late January
  • Science team, samples, and equipment are returned to MCM.
  • Construction crew deploys to SLM to break down the drill camp.
  • UNL drill team and ASC prepare drill, laboratories, and traverse modules for return to Camp 20. The science traverse fleet will shuttle all modules and components to Camp 20 and berm what cannot be brought to MCM in 2017-18 for retrograde in 2018-19.
  • All SALSA field teams redeploy to the US at the end of January.



2018-219 Field Season

December 2017 – January 2018

  • One science participant and one UNAVCO (University NAVstar Consortium) engineer will work from a staffed field camp to retrieve the GPS stations from the Whillans Ice Plain.
  • Four to five participants of the UNL drill team will deploy to prepare drill components for northbound shipping by a USAP (United States Antarctic Program) vessel.
  • Retrograde of drill and traverse modules from Camp 20 using SPoT or the science traverse fleet (to be determined at later date).