The South Pole telescopes: MAPO on the left, the 10-mt telescope and BICEP on the right. They are located approximately 0.75 miles from the station in what we call the Dark Sector (Photo courtesy CS).
We produce liquid nitrogen on site by compressing and purifying air, while we receive several tons of liquid helium from the US every year.
Once the liquid Helium arrives on station it is stored into very large containers called dewars in a dedicated hi-tech facility. From these containers it is transferred into smaller dewars that can be delivered to the various science projects.
I have been cross-trained in the cryogenics operation. The cross-training turned out to be useful when Nick, the primary cryo operator at South Pole, left the station last week to go fetch the year's supply of Liquid Helium from New Zealand. I made my first delivery to one of the telescopes yesterday.
This is a photo of the Galaxy Cluster 1ES 0657-56, first observed with the South Pole Telesope. Now when I look at these beautiful images I can think that I, too, contributed some (photo source: http://mm04.nasaimages.org)/