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LARS Antarctic Platform

The Launch And Recovery System (LARS) sleds are three individual sleds that are designed to be towed behind rubber tracked Cat tractors. The sleds are used as a hot water drill platform in Antarctica for the National Science Foundation. When the sleds reach the drill site they are connected together to form an ‘H’ shaped drilling platform. When in operation, the center sled has a 30 ton hydraulic crane mounted to the center that can reach most of the deck.  Both of the side sleds have removable deck sections for drilling through the ice using a hot water drill installed by Lockheed Martin.

This project was a fast paced Design-Build project.  Lockheed Martin supplied a Scope Of Work (SOW) which included conceptual drawings showing overall sizes and general layouts.  Using the SOW, Finnoe Design completed the design which was structurally analyzed by BBFM Engineers and approved by the customer.  After the design was completed and approved we contracted Northwest Steel Fab to build the sleds and managed the fabrication process with them directly.

This was an extremely complicated and challenging project for many reasons including the cold weather environment which required special considerations in many areas including Charpy V-Notch certified steel.  Additionally, we had an extremely fast paced schedule; the contract was awarded on July 9th and we shipped it complete on October 16th 2012.  Our team really pulled together and made this a successful project.