The barren Antarctic wastes are a harsh environment, even for experienced researchers that are used to spending months on end there. Things might be getting a little more inviting with the introduction of a new kind of mobile research installation developed by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), and called the Halley VI. If you’re worried about the snowpocalypse, or even the snowmageddon, all you need is one of these bad boys.
The Halley VI looks like a big blue tugboat with legs. When the snow begins to fall, the legs are locked down and secured to the snowpack. All of those legs are actually hydraulic lifts that can raise or lower the bulk of the structure so it doesn’t get buried by snow. You could still get out your front door after Blizzard Nemo if you lived in a Halley VI.
The BAS originally constructed the Halley research station in 1956, but all the buildings built since then have been slowly eaten up by expanding ice sheets. That’s the main problem the Halley VI is supposed to solve. Not only can the height be adjusted when the snow is falling, but the entire camp can move as needed.
At the end of those hydraulic struts are skis that allow the Halley VI to be towed to other locations. It’s a bit of involved process getting it ready for relocation, but it saves on packing time when you just take the whole research facility with you. Bulldozers are used to pack down the snow and clear a way for the skis to get started, then the building can slide off into the sunset.
The blue modules are the living and laboratory spaces, and the red unit has various amenities like a rock climbing wall and hydroponic garden. The current Halley VI modular base has 20,000 square feet of space, and accommodates 50 scientists. Similar projects are in the works, but probably won’t be arriving in time to save you from Nemo’s snowpocalypse.