Major Projects Supported

West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide

WAIS Divide is a deep ice-coring project being conducted by the US Research Community in West Antarctica for studies of climate, ice sheet history and cryobiology. After six full seasons of drilling, in January 2011, a depth of 3,331 meters was reached making this the second deepest ice-core ever recovered. These cores hold huge prospect for improving our understanding of climate history and processes by offering the most highly detailed record obtained to date of the last 100,000 years.

Rac-tent has supplied the primary support camp structures for this effort, with a typical camp population of 70 (+) drillers, scientists and support staff.

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Central Trans Antarctic Mountains (CTAM)

With a peak population of 92 people CTAM is the largest single season deep field camp ever to be constructed by the US or any other Antarctic Program. It is also in one of the most beautiful spots on the continent. It has served as a helicopter support camp for paleontologists, geologists, glaciologists and others.

Rac-Tent again provided the primary support structures for this effort including a 30 section (120ft long / 2000 SF) dining hall.

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NASA (LDB) Long Duration Balloon Facility

NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CBSF), located in Palastine Texas, manages the LDB site near McMurdo Station and provides the services of launching large (up to 400 ft. dia.), unmanned, high altitude (up to 120,000 ft.), research balloons; tracking, and recovering the scientific experiments suspended beneath them, for NASA centers and universities from all over the world.

Rac-Tent has supplied an 1800 SF Dining Hall and Conference Room for this project.

Concordiasi (International Atmospheric Science Program)

The CONCORDIASI program is the result of a joint USA-French initiative for atmospheric science in the Polar Regions. Twenty long-duration stratospheric balloons have been launched near McMurdo Station by the French space agency carrying instruments to perform in situ and remote measurements of the atmosphere, all with the goal of improving our understanding of the mechanisms, thresholds, and feedbacks that control the climate system.

Rac-Tent has provided two 88 ft long payload assembly and staging buildings for the launch of these balloons.

The Latitudinal Gradient Project (LGP)

This project is an international collaboration supported primarily by Antarctica New Zealand with the goal of understanding the complex ecosystems that exist along the Victoria Land coast and determining the effects of environmental change on these ecosystems. Ultimately the Project will study five identified sites along the Victoria Land coast in detail. The information gained will increase our understanding of polar ecosystems and help create a predictive knowledge of the future effects of environmental change on these ecosystems.

Rac-Tent has provided the primary structures for camps at Cape Hallett, Darwin Glacier, and Granite Harbor so far.

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AGAP (Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Province)

This project explores the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, the world’s last unknown mountain range. Buried beneath miles-thick East Antarctic Ice Sheet, the mountains will be mapped and characterized with aerogeophysical and seismic methods. The project’s goal is to understand how the mountains formed and their relationship to development of the ice sheet. The project is led by the United States and involves scientists and logistics support from the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, China, and Japan.

Rac-Tent has provided primary support structures for this project at the AGAP South Camp on the Polar Plateau, 400 miles from the South Pole.

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Byrd Support Facility (West Antarctica)

The Byrd Field Camp has been constructed to serve as a logistical hub for a variety of science projects in West Antarctica, including one installing a GPS array throughout West Antarctica and two projects collecting aerial radar data in the Pine Island Glacier area. Other projects will depart from Byrd for a traverse, or overland tractor train, to establish a base of operations for a major project beginning in 2011-12 that will study the rapidly thinning Pine Island Ice Shelf. At it’s peak it will support approximately 70(+) people.

Rac-Tent has supplied the primary camp structures for this facility.

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ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) is a multinational collaboration comprised of more than 200 scientists, students, and educators from five nations (Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) to recover stratigraphic records from the Antarctic margin. The chief objective is to drill back in time to recover a history of paleoenvironmental changes that will guide our understanding of how fast, how large, and how frequent were glacial and interglacial changes in the Antarctic region.

Rac-Tent has supplied both an annex to the Crary Lab in McMurdo to house the XRF Core Scanner used by Andrill as well as supplemental structure for the container-based primary drilling camp.

Ice Stock

Rac-Tent is a proud supporter of “Ice-Stock”, an outdoor music festival that takes place in McMurdo every year on New Years Day and featuring 100% local talent.

Rac-Tent provides on stage shelter for the brave and talented.


Aside from the projects listed above Rac-Tent has provided shelter for dozens of smaller camps in and around the Ross Sea Region, the Trans-Antarctic Mtns., and Northern Victoria Land. 

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