Antarctic Record (Jul 1988)

The results of tests for a smaller snow vehicle

  • Atsushi Kinou,
  • Masayuki Hosoya,
  • Sadao Takeuchi,
  • Mamoru Kaneuchi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 32, no. 2
pp. 218 – 237


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A new small snow vehicle for operating at Syowa Station and vicinities was developed by the working group on snow vehicle, the Committee on Antarctic Logistics, National Institute of Polar Research. Attention was paid to make the vehicle light weight because it was expected to be driven on the sea ice. To fulfill this objective, the hydrostatic transmission system was adopted for the mechanical power train. Since the introduction of the snow vehicle equipped with the hydrostatic transmission system was the first experience for the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition, fundamental tests of this system such as the starting of engine and the duration of battery power under low temperatures expected in the Antarctic, were conducted. Tests were made also to examine the steerbility of the vehicle with the hydrostatic transmisstion system, and required improvements were made. The shock-absorbing properties of the suspension were tested in order to reduce the pitching motion of vehicle. The first small size snow vehicle which was improved based on the test results has been used in good condition in the Syowa Station area since the 1987 summer.