Expeditioners from Casey research station have travelled to the Antarctic plateau to undertake maintenance on an Automated Weather Station (AWS), ahead of a busy summer of aviation.

The AWS gathers important information for Antarctic weather forecasters to help guide safe intercontinental and intracontinental flying operations.

Casey station Field Training Officer, Maddie Ovens, said prior to the start of summer flights, a deep field traverse is undertaken to the AWS at Law Dome, 120 km inland of Casey research station.

“Law Dome is about 1400 metres above sea level and is an area of very high snow accumulation, which can interfere with the operation of the AWS,” Ms Ovens said.

“If the equipment is left untended, it will be buried completely within a couple of years.”

The Casey traverse team had to undergo special deep field training to prepare for the trip.

“We had nine expeditioners in the Law Dome team, who drove two Hägglunds and a tractor, towing sleds of fuel, equipment and an accommodation van,” Ms Ovens said.

The journey was completed in eight hours each way, with a night spent at the AWS site.

“The team worked really well together to ensure the drive, camp set up and AWS maintenance was completed safely and efficiently.”

“It was perfect conditions for the mission, with mostly clear skies and no wind - a short but sweet and successful journey into the white expanse of Antarctica!”