This week at Casey, a communication technical officer (CTO) takes to the skies, 40 metres off the ground, and we see what some of the wintering expeditioners are doing after the last flight.

The role of the communications technical officer (CTO)

The role of the Communications Technical Officer (CTO) on station involves maintaining the IT infrastructure and telecommunication equipment on station. Sometimes this involves climbing the radio masts. These masts are used for mounting antennas for communication purposes as well as scientific equipment and IT infrastructure like web cameras.

Recently the Casey CTO, Jukka, climbed the one of the radio masts located at the receiver site one kilometre southwest from Casey station. This was to retrieve a faulty web cam from the mast. Because of the height at which this work is carried out, it is necessary to have all the right safety equipment as well as making sure you take all the tools required to complete the job.

After the last flight

This week the last of the summer team flew out, some of the winterers who help transport them to Wilkins runway remained there until Friday to start packing the air transport gear for the winter, enduring some very cool, windy and challenging weather on Wednesday while back at the station another group were planning for the hectic winter tourism season. This group consisted of Mark J, Jeremy, Gavin and Mark who set out Thursday to the museum station of Wilkes about one point five miles in a straight line from Casey across Newcomb Bay. They had to go via the regular cane mark track which has only become accessible since the last snow fall and cooler weather sealed up the melt streams that created some huge impassable wash-outs.

For those traveling in the Hagg this was a quick trip. For Mark B driving the D7 dozer, it was slow and steady. On arrival at the Wilkes Hilton, from the ice and snow, he dug out a portable accommodation unit then hooked it up behind the dozer and pulled it out of its frozen resting place to be towed back to Casey on Friday. The hut will be cleaned and restocked with food, gas and other supplies. Both Jeremy and Mark J shared driving the dozer while towing the hut, known as the Silver Chalet, back to station. This is caravanning in true Antarctic style. On Saturday, it was set up at a seaside location (the wharf area) to help cater for the increasing tourist needs over winter.