VK0EK – March 6 – April 20, 2016

(Top) One of the two main shelters provided by sponsor HDT Global, just before collapsing and packing. (Next) After collapse, the shelter packs into a canvas bag about 5 ft. long and 3 ft. in diameter. (Next) View of the HDT assembly area, showing airbeams in various stages of assembly. (Bottom) Five of the expedition team members who trained on the shelters at the HDT facility: Ken Karr NG2H, Dave Lloyd K3EL, Fred Belton KM4MXD, Arliss Thompson W7XU, and Bob Schmieder KK6EK.
Nov. 16, 2015. In a long-anticipated significant event, the Heard Island Expedition has taken delivery of the four shelters provided by sponsor HDT Global, at their Buena Vista, VA, facility. The company delivered two STAT 21 20 ft. x 21 ft. airbeam shelters and two BASE X103 9.5 ft. x 15 ft. shelters.

Five members of the expedition team and numerous members of the East Coast Support Team were on hand for the training session. The team erected and struck both types of shelters twice, recording the sequence for deploying them for training of the rest of the expedition team. The large airbeam shelters (top two images above) are erected by a simple air compressor in about 20 minutes, once the ground is prepared. They are anchored completely by four (large) steel stakes. The airbeams (third picture above) are so strong they can support a small truck. Inside, the flooring is a plastic sandwich that provides thermal insulation and a resiliant surface for comfort, and there is an interior lining that provides thermal insulation. An outside diesel-fired heater will keep the shelters warm.

The shelters were transferred to the accumulation point in Palmyra, VA, awaiting shipment on Dec. 7 to Cape Town, South Africa. A day before sailing aboard the Braveheart (nominally March 10, 2016), the complete team will go through a dress rehearsal of the main campsite deployment, to minimize the setup time at Heard Island.

We wish to express our appreciaiton to the HDT staff, including Ronnie Simmons, Scott Thompson, Carl Pates, Michelle Whitehurst, and CEO Andy Hove, for the very generous sponsorship of these shelters, and the excellent training program (and a nice pizza lunch!) they provided. We also appreciate very much the East Coast Support Team for multiple days of preparory work and transportation: Manny Rodriguez K4MSR, James Kirkham K4JK, Dave Scott KN4ZQ, Glenn Schumacher W4XR, and Lee Moyer K4ISW.

 

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