Winter 2013/14

Finding, Testing and Helping Solve Problems

Down-Hole Camera

The PSL engineering team that was heading to the South Pole made a request for a camera needed for the Lockheed Martin project. The list of requirements was long.

The camera descending along the water supply lines at South Pole station during the repair of the water supply system.

The camera needed to withstand an average temperature of -55 C, it would need a cable of a minimum of 700 feet, be waterproof to a depth of 100 meters,  give a live feed to a dedicated monitor and a light. These just a few of the requests. They met and consulted with PSL Engineer Ken Kriesel on September 3rd.  Ken immediately started checking all the possibilities. The unit arrived on September 19th and was then tested to see that it was working properly. Testing equipment to ensure that it works prior to being used at the South Pole is essential. All issues that were found were addressed. And all necessary accessories were identified also. The unit was packed and on its way on September 24th, just in time. The deadline was short and the list was very long, but as usual the deadline was met.

PSL engineer Ken Kriesel testing the camera system prior to shipment to the South Pole.

Yet, the camera’s value increased greatly when it was used to help solve the South Pole station water problem. See email below.

Subject: RE: camera
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 06:55:18 +1300
From: "Cherwinka, Jeffrey (Contractor)"
To: "Ken Kriesel"


   The camera you purchased was used to identify the location where the hose insulation was bunched up and blocking the pump from leaving the hole. The blockage was ~51 m from the surface. We put tape labels on the cable every 5 meters so we know where we are. This allowed us to lower the hose to just the right depth to deliver the water. There are two advantages to this, first you use less water which is important when you have no well. Second, you reduce the risk that the water might freeze another part in once it has lost its energy. After the pump came out, we used the camera again to inspect the hole and plan the reaming operation so a new pump could be lowered. Again this was useful for conserving water.

  We have also used the camera a lot of our primary hole. There is a lot of debris in the hole. It is helpful to know what it is so we can figure out how to remove it. The hot carrot method does not deal well with debris. We also used the camera to size our hot water hole, and to "qualify" it before turning it over.

    Everything in the system works well. We usually run the camera off battery and then charge it overnight. We have had no problems with temperature for the camera. It has been in a -55 C hole for over 30 min with no problem.

So, the camera is great.  Thanks for your help.

Keep Smiling, Jeff  


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