1996-97 Photos - New Balloon Inflation and Helium Facilities

The first phase of the new elevated station construction involved replacing the helium/cargo arch with a new larger arch for the new heavy shop. But first...a new facility was needed to replace the BIT. It would be built downwind of the existing arches and become known as the BIF. And interestingly, this first phase of the new elevated station construction also is the first of the new station facilities to be replaced...and presumably made to go away in 2016-17.

the BIF in 2013
Starting near the end of the story, above is the BIF as seen in January 2013...at one time posited to be the last full summer season of its existence. Not quite...it was replaced by a moved/modified Cryo in 2015-16, but as of the 2016 winter the building was still there (photo by Elaine Hood from the Antarctic Photo Library).
the first walls are erected
First, some of the inflation room walls are erected.
more walls and the office enclosure
More walls, including the office enclosure and the wingwalls which will brace the large doors.
future location of cryo
Here's a look at the upwind side of the facility. Eventually this would be the location of the permanent cryo building (atop 15 or 20 feet of snow).
the upwind side of the BIF

Another view from an upwind angle...with a flag (which I cannot identify) flying.
the downwind side of the BIF
Here's the downwind side of the structure. The doors you see here would later be replaced with the metal ones seen in the photo at the top of this page.
the downwind side of the BIF
The downwind side on another day, when that flag was flying.
door into the office/lab room

The inflation room...this is the door into the lab/office space on the west (skiway) side of the building. The edge of the inflation doors is at left.
power panel and heating ducts

The northwest corner of the inflation room, and the heating ducts and power panel. Obviously this upwind wall is false, with a significant void behind it to allow room for the ductwork.
the east sidewall next to the large doors

At left...two views of wall construction in the southeast corner of the building next to the other inflation door jamb. The upper portion...
inflation room ceiling

Some of the stuff on the ceiling.
the east sidewall next to the large doors
and the lower level.
utility room

In a room upwind of the lab/office area was this very important piece of mechanical equipment. No, I don't know who the UT is, does anyone?
the office desk
Just to the left of that utility room door and next to the main entrance, here's one of the benches for test equipment used to calibrate and check out the radiosondes.
bench for test equipment
Another view of the office bench/work table, with (perhaps) some of the still-packaged test equipment.
the other test bench

And the other bench on the interior wall of the office.
the incomplete structure
Here's another view of the incomplete structure. Some of the cryo facilities can be seen to the left...
new cryo
Here's the early stage of erection for the dewar storage building.
the dewar storage building and the office
The first "cryo" was two structures...the one at left housed the dewar, while the smaller structure was an office and work space. Also take very close note of rodwell 1 close behind these structures. This rodwell would later serve as the sewer bulb from 2002...to date (November 2013).
cryo with a dewar parked outside
Another side view of the two structures after the doors were installed. In the near background is the new cargo building...in the distance is the empty old helium/cargo arch.
cryo with doors
Another front view of both buildings. The larger structure would later get moved and morph into DNF.
cryo fill in September 2005
Jumping ahead to September 2005, here's my photo--I am inside the cryo building; the large doors are behind me. I'm watching a a dewar for the dark sector being filled. Cryo tech Christina Hammock is looking on.
new cryo lineup
And during the 2005-06 summer the older small cryo barn was shifted aside and the new 3-unit cryo facility was erected adjacent to the BIF (USAP photo from the old cryo statistics page). (All the 2005-06 cryo erection photos are here.)

The above photos are from Chris Rock unless noted otherwise.

Next, now that the BIF was completed, it was time to demo the old BIT....

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