The depth of polar ice has implications for history, paleogeology and climate science, and while much is known about the North Pole ice cap, South Pole ice proves more difficult to measure. Harp’s Tarps (Glenn Harp and Sons Inc.) in Tucker, Ga., is sending a custom-designed product where few tarps have gone before—a South Pole expedition to measure ice thickness.
A vehicle equipped with snowmobile-type treads will traverse the ice carrying sonar gear that needs protection against extreme weather conditions. Among the challenges Harp’s Tarps encountered: a narrow time frame to complete the project, sourcing vinyl material that could withstand the cold, buckles that could be managed with clumsy mittens and requirements that demanded computer-assisted design. “We deliver the goods to any industry,” says John Beule, Harp’s Tarps sales manager, emphasizing the company’s track record of producing custom tarps for unusual applications.