USAP Field Manual
U.S. Antarctic Program - Travel & Deployment Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo

 

USAP Field Manual Link to PDF file
You may view the entire book by opening the above link, or select individual chapters and sections utilizing the below links.

USAP Field Manual Index
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Chapter 1

Extreme Cold Weather Clothing Link to PDF file

1.1 USAP Clothing Issue 1
1.2 Dressing for the Cold: Layering 2
1.3 Cold Weather Clothing Accessories 4
1.4 Clothing for Deep-Field Deployment by Aircraft(McMurdo Area) 5
1.5 Special Clothing Considerations for Peninsula Operations 6

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Chapter 2

Science Support Services Link to PDF file

2.1 Science Meetings 8
2.2 McMurdo Science Support Areas 9
2.3 Palmer Science Support Areas 11

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Chapter 3

Basic Field-Party Preparation Link to PDF file

3.1 McMurdo-Based Groups 14
3.1a Day 1 14
3.1b Days 2, 3, & 4 14
3.1c Day 5 14
3.1d Days 6, 7, & 8 14
3.1e Days 9 & 10 20
3.1f Day 11 21
3.2 Peninsula-Based Groups 22
3.2a Field Communications 23
3.2b Field-Safety Training 24
3.2c Field Equipment 25
3.2d Food for Field Parties 26
3.2e Mechanical Equipment 26
3.2f Field-Camp Liquor Rations 26
3.2g Safety 27
3.2h Safe Water Handling 28
3.2i Human Waste Management 29

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Chapter 4

Standards of Conduct in the Field Link to PDF file

4.1 Appropriate Field Conduct in Antarctica 31
4.2 Environmental Conduct in the Field 31

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Chapter 5

Field-Safety Training Link to PDF file

5.1 McMurdo Field-Safety Training Requirement 34
5.1a McMurdo Field-Safety Course Descriptions 36
5.2 Peninsula-Area Field-Safety Training Requirements 40
5.2a Peninsula-Area Field-Safety Course Descriptions 41

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Chapter 6

McMurdo Area Helicopter Transportation Link to PDF file

6.1 Helicopter Pad (Heli-Pad) 44
6.2 Preparations: Flight Requests and Cargo 44
6.3 Hazardous Cargo 46
6.4 Resupply Cargo 47
6.5 On the Day of Your Flight 48
6.6 Helicopter Loading and Unloading 49
6.6a The Boarding Process at the Heli-Pad 49
6.6b Survival Equipment 49
6.7 Estimated Flight Times 50
6.8 Clothing for the Flight 50
6.9 Day Trips 51
6.9a Radio Equipment 51
6.10 Daily Communications 52
6.10a Field Resupply 53
6.10b Schedule Changes 54
6.11 Retrograde from the Field 54
6.12 Camp Pull-Out 57
6.13 Helicopter Safety Guidelines 57
6.14 Planning Information for Helicopters 58
6.14a Bell 212 Helicopter 58
6.14b A-Star 350 Helicopter 59

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Chapter 7

McMurdo Area Fixed Wing Operations Link to PDF file

7.1 Flight Schedules 60
7.2 Planning for LC-130 Transport to the Field 61
7.2a Load Planning 61
7.2b Aerial Reconnaissance (Recce) . 62
7.2c Equipment Packing 63
7.2d General Cargo 63
7.2e Hazardous Cargo 64
7.2f Frozen Food 64
7.2g Bag Drag 65
7.2h The Day of the LC-130 Put-In Flight 65
7.3 Planning for Twin Otter Transport to the Field 66
7.3a General Cargo 67
7.3b Hazardous Cargo 67
7.3c Getting to the Aircraft 68
7.4 Radio Communications 69
7.5 Weather Briefing 69
7.6 Ski-Way Marker Equipment 69
7.7 In-the-Field Procedures 70
7.7a Camp Put-In Procedures 70
7.7b Marking Grid North 70
7.7c Daily Communication with the FOCC 70
7.7d Communications with the Fixed-Wing Coordinator 72
7.8 Preparing for Camp Pull-Out 72
7.8a Pull-out Schedule and Retrograde Advisory 72
7.8b Waste Retrograde 72
7.8c Equipment Staging 72
7.8d Hazardous Equipment Repackaging 73
7.8e Ski-Way Preparation 73
7.8f Hourly Weather Observations for the Pull-Out Flight 75
7.9 Camp Pull-Out via LC-130 Aircraft 75
7.9a Communication with Incoming Aircraft 75
7.9b Loading the Aircraft 75
7.9c Last Minute Camp Pull-Out Details 76
7.10 Returning to McMurdo Station 76

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Chapter 8

Peninsula Area Boating Operations Link to PDF file

8.1 Zodiac Allocation 78
8.2 Preparation Before Leaving Palmer Station 78
8.2a Checking Out 78
8.2b Loading the Zodiac 79
8.2c Checking the Boat 80
8.2d Gear 80
8.3 VHF Radio 82
8.3a Radio Check and Communications 82
8.3b Radio Use While Boating 83
8.3c Returning Radios to the Station 83
8.4 Boating Hazards and Precautions 83
8.4a Weather 83
8.4b Icebergs and Glaciers 84
8.4c Brash Ice 84
8.4d Rocks 86
8.4e Waves 86
8.4f Wildlife 87
8.5 Troubleshooting 87
8.6 Landings and Moorings 88
8.7 Operating Restrictions 88
8.7a Areas of Restricted Access 89
8.8 Boating Emergencies 91
8.8a Person Overboard 91
8.8b Search and Rescue (SAR) 95

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Chapter 9

Field Radios Link to PDF file

9.1 HF Radios 97
9.1a PRC-1099 Radio: Basic Description 97
9.1b Batteries and Chargers: PRC-1099 97
9.1c PRC-1099 Set-up Instructions 97
9.1d How to Rechannel the Radio 101
9.2 VHF Radios 101
9.2a Operating an MX-300R or Saber HF Radio (McMurdo Area) 102
9.2b VHF Radio Channelization Plans 103
9.2c Operating a VHF Radio (Peninsula Area) 104
9.2d Operating a Visar VHF Radio (Peninsula Area) 107
9.2e Troubleshooting a VHF Hand-Held Radio 109
9.3 McMurdo Area Radio Information 110
9.3a HF Communications Procedures Between Field Parties and Fixed Wing Aircraft 111
9.3b VHF Communications Procedures Between Field Parties and Helicopters 112
9.4 Peninsula Area Radio Information 113
9.4a Traveling Away from Palmer Station 113
9.5 Phonetic Alphabet 114
9.6 Ground to Air Emergency Signals 115

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Chapter 10

Weather Link to PDF file

10.1 McMurdo Area Weather 120
10.1a McMurdo Weather Classifications 121
10.1b Weather Observations from the Field 122
10.1c Radio Transmissions to McMurdo regarding Weather Observations 126
10.2 Peninsula-Area Weather 126

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Chapter 11

Snow Shelters Link to PDF file

11.1 Snow Quarry and Block Cutting 130
11.2 Snow Walls 131
11.3 Snow Trenches (1/2 to 2 Hours) 132
11.3a Trench with Snow-Block Roof 132
11.3b Trench with Tarpaulin Roof 135
11.4 Snowmounds/Quinzhees (2 to 4 Hours) 136
11.5 Snow Caves (3 to 4 Hours) 139
11.6 Igloos (3 to 5 Hours) 140
11.7 Crevasses and Bergshrunds 145

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Chapter 12

Tents Link to PDF file

12.1 Preparation for All Tents 147
12.2 The Scott Polar Tent 147
12.2a Scott Polar Tent Set-up 148
12.2b Setting a Polar tent up for Extra Wind Protection 150
12.2c Scott Polar Tent Tear-Down 151
12.3 Setting up the Stretch Dome, Sphere Expedition Tents 153
12.4 Setting up a VE-25 Tent 154

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Chapter 13

Rope Use and Care Link to PDF file

13.1 Types of Ropes 156
13.2 Rope Care 157
13.3 Knots 158

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Chapter 14

Stoves Link to PDF file

14.1 Types of Stoves 162
14.2 Stove Safety 166
14.3 Stove Operating Instructions 167
14.4 Five Major Stove Problems 171
14.5 Stove Troubleshooting 171

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Chapter 15

Waste Handling In The Field Link to PDF file

15.1 Human Waste Management 173
15.1a Human Waste Disposal in Marine Environments 174
15.1b Human Waste Disposal in the Accumulation Zone of Glaciers 174
15.1c Human Waste Disposal in All Other Environments 174
15.1d Human Waste Containers 175
15.2 Hazardous Waste Management 175
15.2a Hazardous Waste Containers 177
15.2b Using Drum Tags to Mark Hazardous Waste 177
15.2c Notes on Premix 178
15.3 Hazardous Waste Spill Response 178
15.3a Spill Response in the McMurdo System 179
15.3b Spill Response in the Peninsula System 179
15.3c How to Remediate a Small Spill 180
15.4 The McMurdo Waste System 180
15.4a Segregating and Labeling Waste Bags in the McMurdo System 181
15.4b Environmental and Waste Procedures in the Dry Valleys 182
15.5 The Peninsula Waste System 184

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Chapter 16

Snowmobiles Link to PDF file

16.1 Snowmobiles in the McMurdo MEC Inventory 185
16.2 Snowmobile Troubleshooting 187
16.2a Fuel Flow Problems 187
16.2b Starter and/or Cranking Problems 188
16.2c Spark Problems 189
16.2d Power Problems 190
16.2e Track/Suspension Problems 192

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Chapter 17

Sea Ice Link to PDF file

17.1 Sea-Ice Hazards 194
17.1a Weather 195
17.1b Ice Thickness 195
17.1c Color changes 196
17.1d Cracks 197
17.1e Melt Pools 200
17.1f Seal Holes 201
17.1g The Ice Edge 201
17.2 Sea Ice of McMurdo Sound 202
17.2a How To Profile A Crack for Vehicle Crossing 204
17.3 Sea Ice in the Peninsula Area 207

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Chapter 18

Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Link to PDF file

18.1 Roping Up 212
18.2 Crevasse Rescue . 217
18.2a The Rescue 218
18.2b Catching a Fall 220
18.2c Building an Anchor 224
18.2d Checking the Victim 225
18.2e The Hauling System 229
18.3 Conclusions 235

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Chapter 19

Roped Travel with Snowmobiles and Sleds in Crevassed Areas Link to PDF file

19.1 General Points for Roped Travel with Snowmobiles and Sleds in Crevassed Areas 239
19.1a Aerial Reconnaissance 239
19.1b Tow Ropes 240
19.1c Nansen Sled Back-up Rope 241
19.1d Snowmobile Cables 241
19.1e Tether Switches 241
19.1f Driver Safety 242
19.1g Communication 242
19.1h Travel Speed 244
19.1i Crossing Crevasses 244
19.1j Stopping a Fall 245
19.1k Travel on Foot between Snowmobiles and Sleds 245
19.2 Tying In 245
19.2a Front Driver 246
19.2b Rear Driver 249
19.3 Travel Configurations 250
19.4 Snowmobile Crevasse Extraction 254
19.5 Rescue Equipment 255
19.6 How To Travel With A Nansen Sled 257
19.6a In a Safe, Non-Crevassed Area 257
19.6b In Crevassed Areas 258
19.7 How To Load a Nansen Sled 258

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Chapter 20

Glacier Travel with Heavy Machinery Link to PDF file

20.1 Glacier Travel with Heavy Machinery 265

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Chapter 21

Antarctic Navigation Link to PDF file

21.1 Global Positioning System 265
21.2 Magnetic Compasses 266
21.3 Grid North 266
21.4 Compasses and Sextants 268

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Chapter 22

Search and Rescue Link to PDF file

22.1 Medical Evacuations 270

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Chapter 23

Altitude Acclimatization Link to PDF file

23.1 Treatment and Training 272

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Chapter 24

Emergency Action Principles and First Aid Link to PDF file

24.1 Emergency Action Principles 274
24.2 Frostbite 279
24.3 Hypothermia 282
24.4 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 286
24.5 Quick Patient Packaging and Emergency Moves 288

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Appendices
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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Jessie Crain, Division of Polar Programs