Casey Station

Casey Station is a permanent base in Antarctica managed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) located on Vincennes Bay.

History

Casey is close to the now-abandoned Wilkes Station established by the United States of America to support science and exploration of Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957/8. The base was named after Richard Casey, Baron Casey. [ "Australian Philatelic Bulletin", Vol. 16, p. 28]

Australia took over custody of Wilkes after the IGY, but the buildings were already becoming unusable due to the build-up of ice around them. Australia built the first Casey Base on the opposite south side of the Newcomb Bay in the late 1960s. This set of buildings was a unique attempt to prevent the problem of ice build-up by elevating the buildings on stilts, to encourage the wind to blow beneath as well as above, and connecting the entire line of buildings with a corrugated iron tunnel. This would, it was hoped, clear the build up of snow each year, while allowing personnel to move between buildings without having to brave the elements. It worked for some time.

The current Casey Station headquarters (the "Big Red Shed") was built in the late 1980s as part of the Australian Government's Antarctic Re-building Program. It was prefabricated in Hobart, Tasmania by Hobart construction firm, Contas Pty Ltd, trial-erected on the wharf at Hobart, then dismantled, packaged and shipped to Antarctica. It was erected at Casey by tradesmen employed as workers on the normal summer expedition crews. It incorporates innovative design features to prevent the transfer of heat through the structure. The "Shed" is conspicuously located near the top of the hill on which the old radio masts stood. It is probably the largest single structure on Antarctica and was first occupied in 1988.

One of the reasons for having a base at Casey is to study the Law Dome, a miniature version of the entire Antarctic Ice Cap. Casey is also significant as a transport hub for the Australian Antarctic program, with the introduction of intercontinental jet flights for scientists and operational staff from Hobart to the Wilkins ice runway, 65 km inland from Casey station. The inaugural landing of the AAD's Airbus A319 aircraft was on the evening of 9 December 2007.

Smaller Casey Station Skiway is located 8 km east of the station and opened on 30 December 2004.

Climate

Casey Station experiences a Polar climate:

ee also

* Wilkes Station
* Mawson Station
* Davis Station
* Australian Antarctic Territory
* Australian Antarctic Division

References

External links

* [http://www.aad.gov.au/default.asp?casid=405 AAD Casey Station page]
* [http://www.aad.gov.au/asset/webcams/casey/default.asp Casey Station webcam]
* [http://www.users.bigpond.com/ldavidson/Gallery_Antarctica/Antarctic_Main.html A Year In Antarctica (1972)]

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