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ASFI to erect custom fabric aircraft hangar in Antartica
19
May '08
American Spaceframe Fabricators International (ASFI) announced it was awarded a contract to complete a custom fabric aircraft hangar for the US Antarctic Program (USAP).

The 24-foot-by-40-foot relocatable structure will be erected at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide camp during the duration of the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) project – a multi-disciplinary research project that strives to better understand the mass balance of the polar ice sheets and their contributions to sea level rise.

Used to house an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to monitor ice recession, the custom fabric structure is expected to be complete in December 2008.

“We had specific design requirements for this project which the proposed ASFI design meets,” said Elaine Hood, communications specialist for the USAP's main contractor.

“It is critical for scientists in remote field camps to be able to maximize the number of productive days during the short austral summer.”

With temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months, keeping employees warm and equipment operable was a necessity.

ASFI is able to use an exterior wall consisting of multiple layers of an insulated arctic fabric rated for temperatures of -67 degrees Fahrenheit to accommodate extreme temperature changes.

Additionally, excessive snow and wind require the tension fabric structure to be engineered for 40 lbs. of snow load per square foot and 90 mph wind conditions.

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