COMPACTED-SNOW RUNWAYS IN ANTARCTICA DEEP FREEZE 65 TRIALS
NAVAL CIVIL ENGINEERING LAB PORT HUENEME CA
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Snow-compaction investigations were conducted on the Ross Ice Shelf adjacent to McMurdo Sound during Deep Freeze 65 following investigations made during Deep Freeze 61 through Deep Freeze 64. A 150-by 6,000-foot runway was constructed by adding a 16-inch layer of compacted snow over an existing layer. Construction was completed on 24 November 1964 and the runway was maintained and repaired for aircraft tests until 14 February 1965. Snowplow carriers used in clearing the runway of drift snow greatly reduced the time required for this operation over previous methods using a snowplane. A 6 by 6 truck-tractor with high-flotation tires served as a prime mover for maintenance equipment, and resulted in large savings in time over use of a size 2 snow tractor. This wheeled vehicle also eliminated damage to the runway surface caused by track vehicles. The runway was tested early in the season by a 25,000-pound C-47J aircraft with tire inflation pressure of 60 psi it was tested five times at approximately 2-week intervals by an LC-130F aircraft weighing from 90,000 to 135,000 pounds with tire inflation pressures of 85 to 95 psi. During the first LC-130F tests, intermittent failures occurred in the DF-65 layer of compacted snow due to misses between lanes of snow processed by the mixers and seams of unprocessed snow between the DF-64 and DF-65 layers.
- Terminal Flight Facilities
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost