Photo: Dr. Ross Hofmeyr © 2008
The SANAE IV base is built at Vesleskarvet, 220 km due South of SANAE III.
Vesleskarvet is a nunatak which is a rocky outcrop peeping out of a snowy surface. The design of the base consists of three inter linked double storey units of approximately 14 m x 44 m each. They are joined at the lower level by inter leading passageways, which also serve as access and exit points. All three units are raised 3,5m above the rock surface of the nunatak on stilts.
Wind tunnel tests were conducted at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to determine the most ideal shape and proportion of the structure. Rounded corners and smooth surfaces have been employed to minimize the effects of wind.
The base is able to accommodate 20 over wintering team members and 60 summer take-over personnel. A heli-deck and double hangar are provided as part of the structure. The latter serves as storage for the vehicles during winter. The heli-deck incorporates two screw drive lifts to raise the vehicles and provisions into the base.
The base frame is constructed from steel, and the insulation is of rigid, pre constructed foam and glass fibre resin panels.