November 20, 2008 If we build it, the robot will come!
What a team! Today, we did a test build of the entire flooring assembly for "The Bothouse" which is the building that will house the robot - ENDURANCE - out at Lake Bonney. The flooring had already been built in Texas, but because of the shrinking and warping effects of wood due to weather and extreme conditions, we needed to be sure the entire system would still fit together after being exposed to the extreme cold. If anything needed to be rebuilt, adjusted, or re-drilled in order for bolts to line up properly with neighboring boards, we needed to know - and respond accordingly - while we are still in "town." Lake Bonney is a protected area, no major construction is allowed in the area, plus... it's easier to deal with problems in town when we have access to lots of tools and people to help than it is at Lake Bonney.So, we got out the floor plans and started to build! The most level ground in town, where we could also assemble the floor, has a slight slope to it. So, the first task was to create supports that are shimmed to be level at strategic places. That's easier said than done, but we succeeded. Then, it was lay down the beams, connect them, lay the flooring blocks in place, add the "moon pool" cover (the moon pool is the opening in the flooring where the robot will be lowered into, and raised out of, the water) and tracking, assemble the scaffolding, and admire our work! Sounds easy. Our crew of 13 (11 team and 2 helpers) worked wonderfully together. It was quite an accomplishment to get it all done in one day! Tomorrow, we add the tent!
Peter surveys to be sure the floor staging is level.
First, we needed level staging.
Then we added the beams!
Here, Shilpa and Vicky secure spacer bars between the beams to keep them the proper distance apart.
Bart checks the alignment of the beams.
Annika, Shilpa, and Bart double check the plans!
Maciej and Bob also secure some spacers; nice hat Bob!
Once the beams were secure, we started added the floor sections. Each section weighs 400 pounds! No one wanted to drop that on their toes!
Shilpa and Maciej start to check the allignment of the bolts.
Bill and Annika start placing the bolts.
Bill and the team tripple check the plans!
Bob, Bart, and Annika work in the "moon pool'!
It's starting to look like flooring!
Next came the tracking for the moon pool cover.
And here's the cover!
Shilpa's looking like she's getting cold; but that didn't stop her!
Not a bad view from the work site! Bill makes some notes as the TransAntarctic Mountains cascade across the background!
We've got a system going now!
Secure the scaffholding, screw in the last few pieces of plywood and call it a day!
Who are you going to call? Team ENDURANCE!
A job well done!
You can also check out my journals and pictures from previous seasons at: http://www.ryejrhigh.org/ellwood