29 April. SCO Call

On this call, we decided to finish the executive summary of the Summit/Isi Station white paper by the COB 30 April.  This executive summary is meant to be a 1-2 page summary of the longer white paper with the intended audience of policy makers and higher-level NSF executives.  We also discussed answering questions about the intended audience of the white paper and executive summary that have arisen among Summit PIs.  We discussed plans to update the Summit GIS protocols, and the grounded Herc fleet, along with plans to get some Summit PIs to the station via Twin Otter.    Finally, the agenda for the upcoming SCO/NSF call was discussed, and determined to be the Summit/Isi executive summary, the SCO role in the VE (value engineering process) and resulting discussion about the VE process for the Isi mobile garage, and out of the box ideas for Isi/Summit development.  Action items: send out 2 page executive summary (Zoe by COB 30 April), email Summit PIs about white paper intended audience (Zoe), and GIS updated protocols (Bob)


24 April GLRP

Value Engineering
Kevin Gibbons was introduced as the new Greenland project manager, Dave Smith will still be running the meetings for the time being; Kevin will listen on for a time before taking over.
Monique reviewed the Value Engineering concepts. Reiterated that we’re looking for ~850k USD savings. A spreadsheet of different Value Engineering Ideas (VEI) is provided in advance.
The discussions started with VEI 3, which is to remove power supply, so that the overall cost of procurement would fall more inline with the Kuchar estimate — which also did not include autonomous power. Jack raised issue that the value cost of the cable might need to be revisited given the shorter distances we are currently discussing in terms of separation between Summit and Isi. The VE worksheet estimates that not incorporating heat and power in the garage (plugging into the grid and possibly a glycol loop instead) would save almost $90k.
VEI 4 consists of a major reduction in vehicle storage space in the mobile garage and would include just one maintenance bay. This would lead to external storage of other vehicles (e.g. 953). Jack asked if there is a possibility of not using heavy equipment for moving snow to make water, and if there might be a lighter vehicle or better way to move snow to make water? There followed a lot of discussion revolving around whether the proposed design provides sufficient space. Overall, the feeling from the CPS team is that this option is a reduction in capacity/resources of the garage. Tracy pointed out that this would be less space, and less useable space from the existing shop. Renee suggested a ‘cold storage’ or minimally heated storage space that would house other equipment in a minimal and simple structure. This structure could be soft-sided (i.e. weatherport-like, less elaborate, and not as warm as the current garage).  A smaller footprint single bay comes close to entire savings. However, it must be noted that this concept would then require 2 smaller skid-mounted modules which would consist of a small garage bay to store a SAR vehicle, and a generator module to provide heat and power to the main garage. These 2 modules are estimated to cost a little over $225k, so the single bay garage alone saves over $1M compared to the original concept.VEI 5 consists of a reduction in R values. Pat questioned where the 5″ inch panels were sourced. Current R-values of SOB is on order of 28 (guess from Tracy). Pat feels R-51 is excessive, but R-40 is sufficient. VEI worksheet suggests that dropping down to R-40 insulation would only save $10K, or maybe less, but this option seems favored.Given the concern that a single bay really was not adequate, the group next examined VEI 15 which is a 40 x 40 structure with side by side equipment bays and 2 overhead doors. Monique mentions that VEI 15, saves 750k USD, close to what is required. Jack asked about whether 40 foot width specified in this VEI width is okay, which might make transport a challenge. Points brought up in this include the merits of being able to keep the loader inside in winter, and also whether the loader will get as much use in the winter as it does now. The size of this garage has huge benefits for operations, including being able to keep loader inside even if maintenance was occupying the 2nd bay. Jay pointed out that if the simple cold storage garage area suggested by Renee was an option, he could see that single bay maintenance garage might be workable. It was pointed out that while the dual bays in single building option was over the $750K procurement cap it was only $80K more than the single bay version. If we look at the other VEIs that were accepted by the group, it seems that by not putting heat and power in the new garage, going to lower R value, etc the estimated bottom line gets down to $745K, which is just barely under the target cost.    Pat said this might be workable, but that assumptions and estimates should be re-examined.  In particular, he questioned the need to have indoor storage for the 955 loader and if a smaller vehicle would work for winter water runs and maintaining access to surface mounted buildings/etc.The group went through other options, including several ways to provide heat and power for the mobile garage other than diesel generator and boiler.  A grid is preferred by the group over these other options. CPS had looked at using wooden SIPS instead of metal clad IP, they conclude that metal is cheaper (no need for separate exterior cladding) and lighter. Also looked at using heavy wood floor with steel plate only in select areas, analysis suggests this would actually cost more due to complexity of design and construction, and might give inferior performance.


17 April. SCO/PFS teleconference

attending:  Katrine, Jack, Bob at start, Dave came on about 5 minutes late, John joined soon after Dave

Katrine told us that the Basler did get in to Summit on Wed as planned, bringing the first wave of summer staff. Timing was fortunate, since the weather closed in over the night and into Thur.  Winds exceeding 45 knots were impeding outside work and had prevented set up of tent city, so there was a slumber party at Summit.

Katrine and Bob commented on the revised GPS/GIS protocol that Bob did deliver to Summit on time, and that telecom discussions with the techs had resulted in further refinement and improvement of the protocol.  Katrine has the task to incorporate this procedure into the formal procedures and protocols data base that she maintains for all techs on-line and on site.

Katrine asked if SCO was planning to attend the Isi charrette, we confirmed that Jack is definitely attending and that we thought that Zoe would participate too (after the call Zoe did confirm by email),  Jack noted that he was not clear whether SCO was invited/allowed to participate in the 1/2 day wrap-up session, and said that he had asked Dave about this by email but had not yet heard back.

Dave joined right about this time and clarified that the wrap up was optional, but that SCO was certainly welcome to attend if interested.  He indicated that the tentative agenda for this day was to review action items from first 2 days, and then to focus on defining path forward for the Isi/Summit power grid, and to outline and begin LCCA for the jackable platform and building shells for Isi core station.

Dave announced that Kevin Gibbons will join CPS team on Monday (J. Bollinger replacement).  CPS is reworking the mobile garage concept design based on the VE exercise conducted last week.  GLT will participate in the Isi Charrette, and will have follow on meeting at CPS the final 1.5 days of that week to discuss preparation for a “readiness review” that the GLT will undergo sometime this fall.

Katrine asked Dave if he had more information about materials Renee had shared with CPS, regarding planned expansion of Station Nord, and the suggestion that CPS should look at the designs and vendors the Danes were using.  Dave said he did not know much more, but understood that a small team from CPS/ALEX would be visiting Denmark.  He felt that CPS needs to consider a wide range of options for any/all of the vendors that might win design/build contract for components of Isi/Summit redevelopment.  Katrine forwarded the material from Renee to SCO for our review after the call.




10 April. GLRP/Isi Mobile Garage Value Engineering Exercise

Attending: SCO, NSF, SOA, CPS

This meeting is a revisit of the requirements gathering exercise for the Isi Mobile garage, with the main goal of closing the budget gap between the cost determined for the initial concept for the garage (cost estimates have been provided by CPS and a second engineering firm) and the budget. It should be noted that this gap was projected to be substantial, with RSL looking for procurement cost not to exceed $750K and a strong preference for something closer to $500K expressed.  The concept design that came out of the series of exercises over the past months was almost $900K over the RSL ceiling, hence more than $1.3M higher than ideal target.

15 possible options for reducing costs were discussed, with two major cost-savings options discussed at length: 1. reducing the square footage and 2. creating a series of smaller buildings to house the separate components of the garage, assuming that the individual pieces could be procured in different years to spread the cost.  The main consensus was that breaking the project into smaller pieces to spread the cost was not viable.  Therefore we need to redesign the concept to include just a single working bay in the garage based on the width and height of the widest and heaviest tractor, and the length of the longest tractor. This should reduce the overall size of the sled mounted garage by approximately half compared to the concept, which included space to store the 2006 Tucker and 953 loader, and also a maintenance bay for the largest piece of equipment on station.

Noted that if cost scales directly with square footage of heated space, this reduction in scope would still leave budget gap of well over $100k so other possibilities moving forward to reduce costs include having a separate generator module, removing the mezzanine, reducing the R-factor to R40 or below, and using non-metal flooring for areas outside where the vehicles would be moving.

While not discussed very much during the call, the reduced scope of the new garage concept does not include any shared space for science, especially including balloon launching.  It has been recognized that Isi will probably need some kind of surface science space for summer campaign work and year-round balloon launching, but we need to find an option to support these functions during the transition to Isi from Summit (as soon as SOB is decommissioned, possibly as early as 2015.


9 April. NSF/SCO teleconference

Attending: Renee, Pat, Jack, John, Zoe, Bob

Renee provided an update on recent NSF travels to Europe.  The Joint Committee is asking for a document to demonstrate the benefits the telescope project would provide for Greenland (i.e. a Benefits Impact assessment–which in the past has typically been for industrial interests looking to begin work in Greenland).   NSF also discussed including more Greenlandic training through the Danish Technical University and about plans for Station Nord.

We discussed the Summit/Isi white paper updates.  Pat thinks that the white paper most needed at this point in time from an NSF-standpoint is a 1 page executive summary, with maybe a second page to include a graphic.  We discussed disemminating this document on ARCUS and/or ArcticInfo, as well as posting it on the GeoSummit website.  Action item: SCO (Zoe) will contact the ICECAPS PI’s and explain the intended audience for the existing document, as well as a plan forward (i.e. multiple documents) regarding an email that was sent to NSF earlier.


We discussed the issue of granularity, using two recent cases where changes to logistical plans were called out as “scope creep,” where we saw significant attention being paid to these changes in the facilities reports for what we perceived as minor changes.  In both cases, the logistical were more involved than we perceived, but we discussed the need to have some flexibility, especially for PI’s first visiting Summit, to have leeway in their planning and last minute help with logistics.  We are not aware of any instance where a PI was not able to obtain the last-minute or late requests, but want to make sure that the issue is brought up, and that PI’s are not blamed for all changes/budget increases associated with them.

8 April. SCO teleconference

Attending: Jack, Zoe, John and Bob

We discussed plans for updating the white paper(s), namely the need to have both a living document that would encapsulate all the science currently being conducted at Summit, as well as a significantly shorter document, or documents, which will summarize key aspects of Summit/Isi for stakeholders/policy makers.  This shorter version will probably take shape as something intended for the division-level NSF managers, NSF top floor, and congressional staff.  A separate vision document might also be warranted to encapsulate future directions.

SCO would like to send more than one SCO rep, depending on availability, to upcoming GLRP meetings and charrettes, and will follow up with NSF and CPS about that possibility.

We discussed plans for finishing two major tasks, the Summit GIS and the Summit Virtual Tour.  Bob is working on the GPS protocols, with students writing and beta testing the protocols.  Timeline for delivery of these protocols is April 16th.  John has agreed to take over assimilation of historical data into the GIS, with a completion timeframe of the end of May.  Zoe will contact Brian Vassel about the status of the Google Streetview for Summit, and in the meantime, move forward with getting her own panoramas of the station assembled, annotated, and on the GeoSummit website.  John has offered to help in getting the images on the website.

We discussed the granularity observed in CPS reporting of support for various projects, and what we are hoping to discuss with NSF on Weds’s call.

As a last topic, we discussed the possibility of encapsulating Thule science into the current SCO role.  Zoe found in her recent trip to Thule that the most important topics to current Thule scientists, namely bear safety and shipment of frozen samples back to home institutions in the US, are the same for many of the Summit user group.  Zoe will follow up by contacting the list of Thule PIs provided during a Thule-SCO teleconference facilitated by Jen Mercer.