Chilean Army Helps Build Shelters in Southern Patagonian Ice Field

first_img“They can be used for glaciological research, studies on biodiversity, climate change, microbiology, sustainable extreme architecture, alternative energy sources, the psychological effects of extreme habitats, etcetera,” explained Pedro Serrano, director of Federico Santa Maria University’s Extreme Architecture Unit. “[They can also help with] geographical exploration, training for expeditions, and establishing a presence in our territory.” By Dialogo December 02, 2015 weapons strength that’s what I like Since late 2014, the “Sentinels of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field” – as the members of this specialized mountain military unit are called – have helped install seven modular shelters that make up a base of operations on the O’Higgins Glacier in the northern part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Assisting scientific researchers Each shelter, which measures 24 square meters and has room for eight people, consists of semi-curved pre-fabricated modules that are assembled on site, transportable, and have solid and permanent matrices. They are outfitted with dry toilets and a photovoltaic electrical system with batteries and LED lights. There are two passive ventilation systems – one at the ground level, for gravitational ventilation of carbon dioxide, and another at the top that uses outside airflow and wind speed to refresh the air inside. The base has a metallic structure, polyester modules reinforced with fiberglass, polyurethane insulation, a Gelcoat topcoat (a resin dyed international orange), double-paned windows of clear acrylic, plywood, and rubber pavement. However, the glaciers originating from the millennial mountain range, such as O’Higgins, Montt, and Témpano, have been damaged by the effects of climate change, leading to a thinning and withdrawal of the original ice mass, according to DGA studies. “[This shows the need for this] glaciological research platform, which is unheard of in this country if we consider its complexity and scale, said Andrés Rivera, a CEC glaciologist and member of the research team. “In the next few years, it will allow us to study the Southern Patagonian Ice Field with an unprecedented level of detail and precision.” Consequently, the Cochrane 20th Andean Company undergoes rigorous training; soldiers drill for five years, which include deployment in snowy areas. They are taught how to scale mountains, use amphibious equipment, use rotary wing units for vertical take-offs (quick rope), administer first aid, and survival techniques for snowy environments. The shelters assist researchers in their efforts to build a glaciological and hydro-meteorological system to monitor glaciers. The research will continue through December 2016, according to the project, “Glaciological Baseline of the Northern Section of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field: Jorge Montt, Témpano and O’Higgins Glaciers,” drafted and directed by the Ministry of Public Works’ Water Bureau’s Glaciology and Snow Unit. Stretching 350 kilometers north to south and 60 kilometers across, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is the world’s third largest continental ice sheet, after Antarctica and Greenland. Located in southern Chile’s Aysén Region 11, it is 2,039 kilometers from Santiago and considered the largest fresh water reserve in the world. “It can withstand wind erosion conditions of up to 200 km/h (sling anchor system) and particulates and solar radiation at temperatures up to -40°C,” Serrano said, adding the shelters can also withstand being covered by over three meters of snow. center_img Prior to transporting equipment to the site and setting up shelters and instruments to measure snow and rainfall, the Fourth Division performed reconnaissance flights to define the perimeter of the location for the center of operations. Then, they proceeded to travel on land to the site where the shelters were built along the border at Marconi Pass, the last point in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field’s Aysén Region. The shelters on the Southern Patagonian Ice Field are a collaborative effort between the Extreme Architecture Unit at Federico Santa María Chilean Technical University and the Fourth Division’s Projects and Infrastructure Department. In addition to consolidating Chile’s presence in the region, the units – also called domes – provide a safe resting place for military patrols, a venue to conduct instructional and training activities, and a spot for civilians to develop scientific research and use during expeditions. The Public Works Ministry’s Water Bureau (DGA) expects to have detailed information by the end of 2016 on the glaciers’ behavior, including a description of each and indicia of global warming, in addition to the area’s network of meteorological stations, which authorities use to make decisions on potential uses of that territory. A collaborative effort Soldiers accustomed to operating in remote regions under harsh weather conditions are assisting the project. During expeditions on glaciers, the company frequently faces hostile weather conditions, winds up to 100 km/h, whiteouts, snowstorms, and temperatures as low as -40ºC – all in a territory far removed from civilization with which it’s very difficult to communicate by land or air. Well-trained team “It is important to cooperate in the exercise of effective sovereignty, and the best way to do so is to establish a presence in isolated areas that have geopolitical value for the country, such as this site,” said Lieutenant Colonel Álvaro Salgado Bahamondes, Operations Officer for the Army’s Fourth Division. The Cochrane 20th Andean Company, under the Chilean Army’s Fourth Division, has provided crucial support to the Scientific Studies Center (CECs) in its research in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, one of the most remote and least explored areas in the country’s south. The work in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field also has allowed the company to “train on terrain whose complexity increases [the company’s] technical capabilities,” Lt. Col. Bahamondes said.last_img read more

Ghana Rugby Clubs meet with board to pan local league

first_imgPresident of the Ghana Rugby Association Herbert Mensah is promising a transparent administration in the running of the sport in Ghana.Mr. Mensah disclosed this when he met members of the Ghana rugby football union to discuss the start of the 2014 rugby league.The meeting also discussed issues pertaining to the draft blueprint for Ghana rugby, the upcoming stakeholder’s forum as well as preparation and development for tournaments planned for next year.Herbert Mensah who is not new to sports development in Ghana says his doors are opened to ideas to move rugby forward.“We are all part of the Rugby Family of Ghana and we all work together as a team in line with our values to fulfill our mission and chase our vision, myself and all the Board members will always follow an open door policy and it is the right of any stakeholder to knock on the doors of the President and the other Board members to discuss issues important to our passion for developing and playing the Game of Rugby,” Mr. Mensah said.The proposed Blueprint is built on the vision, mission and values of the International Rugby Board as follows: Vision – Rugby – A Sport For All In Ghana – True to It’s Values.Mission – Growing the global Rugby Family in Ghana.The proposed values for Ghana Rugby is based on five pillars:INTEGRITY – Integrity (adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty) is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair playPASSION – Rugby people have a passionate (powerful or compelling emotion or feeling) enthusiasm for the Game. Rugby generates excitement, emotional attachment and a sense of belonging to the global Rugby family TEAMWORK – The only way to succeed is by working together (coordinated effort acting together in the interests of a common cause – Rugby)DISCIPLINE – Discipline (training to act in accordance with rules) is an integral part of the Game, both on and off the field, and is reflected through adherence to the Laws, the Regulations and Rugby’s core valuesRESPECT – Respect (being esteemed or honoured) for teammates, opponents, match officials and those involved in the Game is paramountHerbert Mensah also added, “It looks as though policies of the past favored quantity above quality. It does not serve the Game of Rugby to have 1,000 schools trying to get into rugby without solid support from the Associations and Clubs and without properly qualified sports masters.”He called for the creation of manageable tournaments within the resources of GRFU to allow the youth to derive the full benefits of being part of the Rugby family. Associations and Clubs that participated in the meeting were asked to prepare for the forum by critically evaluating the proposed draft Blueprint and to prepare a presentation for the Forum on what will be required to develop and manage the growth of the Rugby Family in a strategic, structured and manageable fashion. Clubs were also asked to start gathering critical information that will help their Associations to put their own Blueprints together based on the guidelines contained in the GRFU Blueprint.last_img read more