Belgian Antarctic Station: the second phase in the testing campaign has started

After the preliminary wind tunnel testing in July 2005, validating the snow accumulation simulation method, the second phase in the testing campaign has started. During this phase the wind conditions at the site will be assessed using a "building-free model".

This topographic model of the ridge at the northern rim of the Utsteinen nunatak has been constructed at a scale of 1 100. The model (3m diameter!) has been installed in the Von Karmann Institute wind tunnel. The model can rotate making it possible to test the prevailing wind direction and its variability. Wind velocity profiles at different positions will be measured in August 2005. These results will help to determine the exact location of the base on the ridge and will eventually make it possible to correct the numerical simulations.

In parallel with the aerodynamic testing the preliminary energy concept study of the building is taking form. The main objectives of this part of the study are the analysis of building-physical parameters determining the geometry, arrangement and orientation of the base in order to minimize the energy demand and to maximize the possibilities for use of renewable energies on site.

The outcome of this study will be used as an input to finalize the building geometry proposals to be build as scale models for the third phase in the wind tunnel testing.