During the last two years, The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) has led four field campaigns to the Greenlandic Ice Sheet on behalf of the Danish and French safety investigation authorities, searching for the missing engine part, based on the extensive experience working on the ice and in Greenland.
“The search phase involved more than 13 weeks in Greenland, with seven weeks camping on the ice sheet, working in a crevasse field by foot, snowmobile, and robot, night-time operations, risk of polar bears, temperatures down to -35°C, and wind storms up to 25 m/s, with gusts up to 32 m/s,” explains field team leader Ken Mankoff, Senior Researcher at GEUS.
Preparation for the field campaigns involved additional fieldwork in Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark testing the sensors and practicing for the crevasse-field work.
And all the work payed off. The search began with a 3 km by 5 km area but focused on a few points in Southern Greenland identified from an airborne search by the French Aerospace Lab ONERA.