A Visit to an Arctic Ice Station, Through Photography

by Owen James Burke

This is a hole drilled in the arctic meant to pass cables to Sonar gear. The photo comes from Reuters photographer Lucas Jackson, who was invited to 2011’s Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station. The station is built directly atop the arctic sea ice. His job? Keep the camera equipment warm enough to capture the station at work while it tested underwater and under-ice communications and sonar technologies.

Jackson arranges for his trip on at his apartment in New York, making sure to pack enough hand-warmers not for his soft Yankee flesh but to keep his camera equipment functioning in the howling and frigid Arctic elements.

The remote ice station just north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, at which Jackson planted himself for two days was simply comprised of two tents an about a dozen plywood hutches.

Keith Magness, an employee of the ice station, uses a chainsaw to cut through the ice in order to access the hatches of the Seawolf class submarine, the USS Connecticut, just after it broke surface.

For many more images and stories, read on:

*APL, reuters via theatlantic*

 

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