Completed in February 2009, Neumayer III (www.awi.de) is the third generation of German stations built on the 200m-thick Ekström Ice Shelf. The €26-million station is one prefabricated double-story building erected on a 68m-by-24m platform, 6m above the snow, and connected to a subsurface garage. The structure combines research, operational and accommodation facilities. Hydraulic piles allow Neumayer III to be raised regularly as snow accumulates beneath, giving it an expected life of 25 years.
Neumayer III augments its power generators with one 30kW wind turbine, and will eventually have a complete wind farm to cover most of its needs.
Nine people generally winterover, and up to 50 can stay in summer. In December 1990 the first all-female group to winter in Antarctica staffed Neumayer. Two meteorologists, two geophysicists, two engineers, a radio operator, a cook and a doctor (also station leader) spent 14 months on the Ice, including nine months in complete isolation.