What any country can and can’t do in Antarctica, in the name of science

Photo by Meg Adams

Antarctica is owned by no one, but there are plenty of countries interested in this frozen island continent at the bottom of the Earth. While there are some regulations on who can do what there, scientific research has no definition in Antarctic law. So any research by a country conducted in or about Antarctica can be interpreted as legitimate Antarctic science.

There are 30 countries operating bases and ships, and flying aircraft to and from runways across the continent. Russia and China have increased their presence in Antarctica over the past decade, with China now reportedly interested in building its first permanent airfield.

It is not surprising there is significant interest in who is doing what, where – especially if countries ramp up their investment in Antarctic infrastructure with new stations, ships or runways. Their actions might raise eyebrows and fuel speculation. But the freedom of countries to behave autonomously is guided by the laws that apply to this sovereign-neutral continent.

Treaties and signatories

There are 12 original signatories to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty,  and they do not have to prove their commitment to the treaty since they wrote the rules. Another 41 countries have signed on since 1959, and they do need to prove commitment. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) coordinates Antarctic research, but being a member is not a prerequisite for doing Antarctic science.

Currently there is only one jointly operated scientific base – Concordia (WAP MNB-Ø3), occupied by both France and Italy.
The Novolazarevskaya airfield (Blue One runway,  WAP MNB-Ø6) is a joint operation coordinated by Russia. This encouragement was designed to reduce the potential for expansion of the footprint of human activities. In 2017 the Consultative Parties adopted revised guidelines for how to become a decision maker. These outline new rules on a concept that has never been articulated publicly in an Antarctic forum before – evaluating the quality of scientific research. This could put the brakes on the rapid addition of new signatories to the table.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-country-antarctica-science.html

Wagons … south

The South Pole overland Traverse, or SPoT, left McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22) on Antarctica’s Ross Island on Nov. 12, to begin a trek of more 1,000 miles across the Antarctic Plateau to NSF’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (WAP USA-36).
Image:TNX Mike Lucibella at NSF

 

In the first of three such traverses planned for this research season, the eight tractors and a tracked vehicle called a PistenBully will haul 100,000 gallons of fuel to the station.

TNX National Science Foundation-Office Polar Programs, USA

 

The 64th Russian Antarctic Expedition

Russia has provided a full details of its 64th RAE and we are happy to share it on the WAP pages , sure that the Antarctic chasers will enjoy to know the plan; in addition, being us Radioamateurs, we are sure we will have good chance to work the skilled Radio operators  in the several Russian Bases while they will be there.

TNX and credit: State Scientific Center-Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of the Russian Federation

 

The scientific expedition ship Akademik Fedorov has just departed from St. Petersburg to the shores of the Antarctic. This will be the 43rd expeditionary flight of the flagship of the Russian polar fleet. The ship’s captain is Oleg Kalmykov Kalmykov, the head of the seasonal expedition is Mikhail Viktorovich Bugayov.

On board the ship, 100 participants of the 64th RAE will go to Antarctica: 61 people from the wintering staff of Mirny (WAP RUS-Ø7), Vostok (WAP RUS-13) and Progress stations (WAP RUS-11), 39 participants of seasonal work at these stations, as well as seasonal field bases Molodezhnaya (WAP RUS-Ø8) and Oasis Banger and the R/V “Akademik Fedorov”.

To ensure the year-round operation of the Antarctic stations and the implementation of scientific programs of the seasonal expedition, more than 1,200 tons of various cargoes were loaded on board, including 852 tons of diesel fuel, 67 tons of food, consumables, spare parts, scientific instruments and equipment.
The voyage will last 207 days and will consist of two Antarctic phases, each of which will begin in the port of Cape Town.

At the first stage, the vessel will ensure the start of seasonal work at the Molodezhnaya Base, at Progress and Mirny stations. Then “Akademik Fedorov” will deliver personnel and supplies for Vostok station, ensure the implementation of geological and geophysical works in the Oasis of Banger and oceanographic works in the waters of the Mawson Sea and Prydz Bay. Along the way, the ship will deliver personnel and cargoes to the seasonal base of the Belarusian  and cargo to the Belgian seasonal base Princess Elizabeth on the coast of the Riiser-Larsen Sea.

The first stage will be completed in mid-March in the port of Cape Town, where participants of the wintering team at Novolazarevskaya and Bellingshausen stations will arrive on scheduled flights.
The second stage of the Antarctic cruise of the vessel will take place along the route: Cape Town – Molodezhnaya (WAP RUS-Ø8), Novolazarevskaya (WAP RUS-Ø9), Bellingsgausen (WAP RUS-Ø1),  Montevideo – Bremerhaven – St. Petersburg. At this stage, the vessel will supply and replace the wintering team at Novolazarevskaya and Bellingshausen stations, as well as complete seasonal operations at these stations and seasonal bases Molodezhnaya and Vechernyaya Mountain (WAP BLR-NEW). At the exit from the Antarctic, the vessel will conduct marine research in the Bransfield and Drake Straits. The return of the “Akademik Fedorov” to the home port is planned for June 2, 2019.

In total, the staff of the 64th RAE will include 120 employees of the seasonal expedition, 110 people of the wintering expedition, two ships: the R/V “Akademik Fedorov” (Pic above) and the R/V “Akademik Alexander Karpinsky” (Pic aside), two helicopters of the type KA-32 and the An-2 aircraft.
WAP wish the polar explorers good luck in the expedition!

Nov. 6th, Chilean Antarctica Day

In 1965, President Eduardo Frei Montalva, declared November 6, as Chilean Antarctic Day; since then, every year Chile through INACH, celebrate it.

The “Instituto Antártico Chileno” (Chilean Antarctic Institute/INACH) is a technical organization of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with complete autonomy in scientific, technical and outreach Antarctic activities.

Pic aside show the Chilean Navy Base , Arturo Prat (WAP CHL-Ø1).

Chile is developping logistical and scientific cooperation with 17 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Colombia, Italy, Uruguay and Spain. In addition, INACH bases and three shelters will be used, the laboratories of two bases operated by the Armed Forces; three Navy ships; airplanes and helicopters.

 

Happy “Día de la Antártica Chilena” celebration to the Chilean friends, scientists and researcher.

Ham Radio and the “power” of Antarctica

This is a story of Luciano IK2QPO (aka OE3ZLL and II2ANT); it tells how the Antarctic passion can even involve the Mayor of a city!

I am Luciano IK2QPO (also OE3ZLL) and I live part in Milan, in the northern of Italy, and part in Pfaffstätten, a small town near Vienna, the capital city of Austria. Since I am interested in the Antarctic, every year in February I participate to the Antarctic Week as II2ANT WAP-Ø3Ø.

After many years, I succeeded in receiving the WADA and WACA awards, which I have hanged in my shack in Austria. One year ago, as it is custom in small towns in Austria, the Mayor of Pfaffstätten visited us to congratulate my wife for her 70th birthday (see pic aside). In my dining room there was a bottle of champagne and in the corner of my shack,  the Antarctic awards hung on the wall. The mayor admired both, the champagne and my awards as well.

He asked me: “Are you an active radio amateur?  Because if you have done many contacts with the Antarctic, you must be a very good radio amateur.”

“Yes, I am an experienced radio amateur” , I replied

He told to me: “I am Disaster Manager for Lower Austria and we would need radio amateurs for emergency communication. Would you like to become responsible for emergency communication in my town?”

“Yes, of course”, I answered “But not with this dipole (a dipole for 20 and 40m). For the WADA and WACA award I have used a better one. In Italy, I have a Yagi antenna and a longer dipole.”

He replied to me: “Well, then send me a request for the authorisation to install a good antenna which is also suitable for emergency communication and I will promptly authorize it. Since your amateur radio station is a station for emergency communication nobody can forbid it and your neighboors have to accept it because emergecy is a prority for everyone”

So now I have a 40 ft. high tower with a 6 element Yagi and 3 long wires for low band and emergency use.

TNX WADA and WACA …  they really did help.
I hope to copy someone from Austria soon! 73 and good DX by OE3ZLL a.k.a IK2QPO & II2ANT

… and we congratulate Herr Christoph Kainz, the Mayor of the city of Pfaffstätten for his foresight; yes,  Radio join the people and surely helps in emergency communications!

 

Auckland teenagers set to kayak around Antarctic Peninsula

Paddling kayaks around icebergs isn’t your typical school trip, but two Auckland teenagers, led by the explorer Olympic kayaker Mike Dawsonm are about to do just that. They’ll be joined by five other students and will head off in March 2019.
The expedition is the latest organized by the Antarctic Heritage Trust
They’re heading to Antarctica with an Olympian as a guide, following in the footsteps of some of history’s legendary polar explorers – Sir Edmund Hillary, Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

What it’s like to camp in Antarctica?
Four simple lessons you can learn from Antarctica about sustainability.  “You’re going to have icebergs, you’re going to have amazing scenery – whales, seals, penguins – you name it, it’s going to be there.” Mike said.
Read more at:
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/10/auckland-teenagers-set-to-kayak-around-antarctic-peninsula.html
Enjoy a short video of Kayaking in Antarctica

October 21: Day of the Argentine Amateur Radio

On October 21, 1921, a qualified group of radio amateurs ( the first on the air) met, in an assembly held in the auditorium of the newspaper  “La Prensa”,  did found the  Radio Club Argentino, which historically became the third Radio Club in the world ,

Thus, the so called “Antarctics” keep gratitude and recognition to the Radio Amateurs, because they were a nexus with their loved ones, approaching them with affection in the distance and time.
At the beginning of the century, the Navy’s Ministry did regulate the Ham radio spectrum and was the one who granted the first Amateur Radio License to Teodoro Belloq, on October 15, 1913, who did set a radiotelegraphy station on Av. Callao to 1600 of the Federal Capital and another in a fifth in the San Isidro Party, Province of Buenos Aires.

The Radio Amateurs were a small group and known for doing weird things, something like the alchemists of 1900!

Read more at: http://www.marambio.aq/radioaficionado.html

Happy Amateur Radio Day’s celebration to all of the operator actually active from the Antarctc Bases in the Icy Continent as well as all of those involved in Ham radio communications.

Particular wishes to our friends living in Tierra del Fuego (WAP ARG-23)

Antarctica NZ scientists due to fly South after weather causes two-week delay

Flights to Antarctica delayed by a fortnight due to storms are set to take off.
Antarctica New Zealand staff were scheduled to fly south on October 1 to set up Scott Base  (WAP NZL-ØØ1) for the summer science season ahead, but wild winds and snow closed the McMurdo Sound airfields, causing the longest delay in decades to the start of the season.
The first flight is scheduled to fly out at 8am Tuesday, followed by another at 11am. There will be two more flights on Wednesday, one on Thursday and two on Friday.
An Antarctica New Zealand spokeswoman said the first to fly south include mechanics, electricians, chefs, domestic staff, communications operators and logistics personnel. They will prepare Scott Base for the season, with scientists due to start flying south later this month.
She said US staff in Antarctica have been busy clearing Phoenix Airfield (WAP USA-NEW), which serves US research centre McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22) and New Zealand’s Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1), following the storms.

Antarctica New Zealand general manager of operations Simon Trotter said the New Zealand team was working hard to minimise impact on science planned for the beginning of the season.
 “The storms have also affected our US neighbours, who are due to fly south to McMurdo Station. Unlike us, they can’t send their employees home to wait it out – so many of them are getting to know Christchurch very well.”
Read more at:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/107846223/antarctica-nz-scientists-due-to-fly-south-after-weather-causes-twoweek-delay

Busy season for NIWA scientists in Antarctica

The new science season at Antarctica is just a few days away from opening and NIWA researchers are busy packing containers and shipping them to the ice where they will be reunited with them in the coming months.

The summer science season lasts for about five months, and 10 NIWA staff will be heading south over that time, with the first due there in early October to work at Arrival Heights, NIWA’s atmospheric research station (WAP NZL-NEW) about six kilometers from Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1),  Latitude 77° 49′ Ø1″ South , Longitude 166° 25′ ØØ” East  Elevation 184 m asl

Principal atmospheric technician Dan Smale will be carrying out specialized annual maintenance and calibration on the equipment which makes important measurements of greenhouse gases and trace gases such as ozone.
Mr Smale will also train two new technicians to run and maintain the instruments. One will be based on the ice for summer, while the other will remain for a full year. Later in the season atmospheric technicians Gordon Brailsford and Mike Kotkamp will also go to Arrival Heights for further maintenance and replacement of specialized parts.
Read more at:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1809/S00038/busy-season-for-niwa-scientists-in-antarctica.htm

Antarctica & its cosmic radiations

Antarctica is emitting cosmic radiation?

In 2006, NASA launched a probe on Antarctica to measure the cosmic radiation that falls on our planet. The probe soon began to detect these particles, but there was something very rare in a percentage of them: they came from below, from the ice of Antarctica.

Last week, a team of physicists from the Pennsylvania State University did publish an interesting theory about the origin of that cosmic radiation that seems to be originated in our own planet. If that theory proves to be true, what emits the ice of Antarctica is a new type of particle that goes completely out of the current standard model of physics and would demonstrate the validity of the supersymmetry model.

The pic aside (Photo and credit to: NASA), show the ANITA Probe. Cosmic rays were observed shooting from Antarctica by the high-tech ANITA balloon

Sources:                                       

https://es.gizmodo.com/la-antartida-esta-emitiendo-radiacion-cosmica-y-eso-po-1829437531

Read also: https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1027547/space-news-cosmic-rays-antarctica-supersymmetrical-particles-anita-nasa

Rothera Research Station, WAP GBR-12

Rothera Station (WAP GBR-12) 67° 34’ Ø3” South, 68° Ø7’ 47” East,  is the BAS logistics centre for theAntarctic and home to well-equipped biological laboratories and facilities for a wide range of research. The station is situated on a rock and raised beach promontory at the southern extremity of Wormald Ice Piedmont, South-Eastern Adelaide Island.

Rothera Station was established in 1975 to replace Adelaide station (1961-1977) where the skiway had deteriorated.

October 2018: The Runway at Rothera Station (Lat: 67° 34’ 3” South, Lon: 68° 7’ 39” East)   has finally been cleared of snow in readiness for the first aircraft of the season. The view west towards the mountains of Adelaide Island, and Ryder Bay covered with sea ice.
Photo: Jess Walkup

The link below, will lead the readers  through the Airfields in Antarctica:

https://www.aeroinside.com/airports/antarctica/antarctica/AQ

Trying to eat “spaghetti al fresco” in Antarctica

Eating outside can be one of life’s great joys,  but it’s a whole different story when you live in Antarctica.The scientists working at Concordia Station (aka Dome C-WAP MNB-Ø3), one of the most remote places on Earth at around 1,000 miles from the Geographical South Pole, rarely get that pleasure with temperatures dipping as low as -80°C in winter.

But with spring coming on in the region and the temperature rising close to a positively balmy -60°C, station leader Dr Cyprien Verseux and his colleagues decided a spot of al fresco dining was in order.
Concordia, which is currently home to 13 people, is extremely isolated with no other human beings within around 370 miles.
It is an inhospitable place beyond even the cold temperatures,  it is an incredibly dry area and the sun did not peak over the horizon for three months over the winter until it made a reappearance in August.

Dr Verseux explained: Concordia is highly attractive to researchers from different fields such as astronomy, human physiology, glaciology, atmospheric sciences, and geophysics.”

It is used by the European Space Agency to study how humans adapt to what are likely very similar conditions to a future moon or Mars base.

Read more at:
http://home.bt.com/news/science-news/this-is-what-happens-if-you-eat-spaghetti-al-fresco-in-antarctica-11364299753880

A new polar research ship for Britain

Construction is progressing on the RRS Sir David Attenborough  one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. From 2019 onwards scientists researching oceans, ice and atmosphere will have access to state-of-the-art facilities on this floating multidisciplinary research platform.

The new polar ship is commissioned by NERC, built by Cammell Laird to a Rolls-Royce design and operated by British Antarctic Survey. This new research platform will transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the Polar Regions. The commissioning of the RRS Sir David Attenborough is part of a major Government polar infrastructure investment programme designed to keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic.

This £200m commitment represents the UK Government‘s largest investment in polar science since the 1980s.

Read more at: https://www.bas.ac.uk/polar-operations/sites-and-facilities/facility/rrs-sir-david-attenborough/

TNX  and credit: British Antarctic Survey

Mario Zucchelli Station, WAP ITA-Ø1, 34th Antarctic Campaign

The XXXIV Italian Antarctic Campaign (2018-2019) has just begun  few days ago. Mario Zucchelli Station (WAP ITA-Ø1) has been open and  personnel is working on the outside to rebuild the air strip, waiting for the first airplane and then, the start of the summer campaign. The helicopters make a stop on one of the 3 equipped platforms, the light aircraft equipped with skis land on any flat snow-covered surface, the Hercules C-130 instead (with wheels) on a 3000 meter long seasonal track that is set on sea ice.

The site of the Italian Base, initially called Stazione Baia Terra Nova and now Mario Zucchelli (MZS), is located along the coast of Northern Terra Vittoria,  between Campbell and Drygalski glaciers. The coordinates of the station are: latitude 74° 41′ 42″ South, longitude 164° 07′ 23″ East.

It is built on a small rocky peninsula. The area where the buildings and facilities are located has access to the sea.

Small inlets lend themselves to the loading/unloading of materials according to the season. At the beginning of the summer season, when the surrounding sea is covered by ice, the ship unloads the materials on the ice pack and then, by means of convoys of sleds everything is moved to the base. At the end of the summer, when the ice gives way to water, a small pier and a barge are used for connections between land and ship.

So far, we don’t know if, among the personnel involved in this 34th Antarctic Campaign, there is some Radio operators who can work HF on the Ham radio bands.

South Georgia Island and its Stations

Some clips and photographs of a trip to South Georgia Island, Sub-Antarctic areas, in January, 2014 with the Oceanside Expeditions ship Plancius
(Click on the gif aside to see a 29′ videoclip)


Stops at Elsehul Bay, Rosita Harbour (WAP GBR-NEW), Stromness Whaling Station (WAP GBR-NEW), Grytviken (WAP GBR-29), Fortuna Bay, Jason Harbour, Gold Harbour and Cooper Bay.

 

Thanks and credit to: Jack Salen

Retracing Antarctica’s glacial past

More than 26,000 years ago, sea level was much lower than it is today partly because the ice sheets that jut out from the continent of Antarctica were enormous and covered by grounded ice — ice that was fully attached to the seafloor. The ice sheets were as large as they could get and at the time, sea level was much lower because a lot of ice was sequestered on the continent. As the planet warmed, the ice sheets melted and contracted, and sea level began to rise.
LSU Department of Geology & Geophysics Associate Professor Phil Bart and his students have discovered new information that illuminates how and when this global phenomenon occurred. Their research recently published in Nature’s Scientific Reports may change today’s sea level rise predictions as Earth and its icy continent continues to warm…
Read more at: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/lsu-rag092518.php

Collecting envelopes from Antarctica

If you don’t know anyone residing or working in those remote corners of the world you can still receive covers from them. Here’s how I do it:

 

Put your cover and the request letter in a larger envelope and mail it to the base or administrative organization.

Expect your mail to take a long time to come back to you. Some covers could take well over a year to come back, and sometimes, they don’t come back at all. Be patient. It helps to know the shipping schedules so you can get your covers to the bases with plenty of time for them to be back on a boat (or plane) and back to you. If your covers arrive on the last boat of the season they might sit until next season for a return trip.

Remember that these bases are in the Southern Hemisphere: summer in the North when it’s winter in the South. During their winter months, access to most of these bases is nearly impossible so in most cases, mail will only be delivered during their summer.

Sometimes it is possible to buy some old and interesting stamped envelopes  on the internet market but for sure, those addressed directly to you,  as collector,  have for yourself a better value.

Learn more at:   

http://stamps.mybalconyjungle.com/antarctic_covers/antarctic_covers.html

http://www.bai-bg.net/philately.html

15th WAP Meeting (Worldwide Antarctic Program)- Mondovì, Italy

WAP Meeting nr. 15th ; another great goal for the Antarctic Hams and followers!

Organized by ARI Mondovì since its launching on 2003, WAP Meeting continue with no interruptions. WAPwebsite (thanks in particular to Floyd KK3Q) is giving the visitors (Hams, chasers, students)  a chance to know more about the Icy Continet and the HF communication with people involved down there in scientific missions.

39 years of continuous work is a real great commitment .. perhaps some younger Hams can come on to give us the change!
This year,  theme of the Meeting,  was “ Antarctic passion and WAP Directory” ; just one click to enter almost every corner of the Antarctic, a great job provided by WAP website, but also a regret to consider that the new computerized digital systems of communication are partly supplanting SSB & CW  that was a most customary habit for more than 70 years and now, slowing down years after years! Ham Radio seems to have ceased, with the exceptions of Russia, Japan, USA, Australia, Germany end few other Cuntries  that are almost still active every Antarctic Summer Season.

In the future it will be probably hard to record new calls and new sites by Hams operating from Antarctica, simply because other communication systems are supplanting HF contacts between amateur radio operators, rather than propagation  studies  and Radio experiments,

 

Presentation has been done by I1HYW with the help of Betty IK1QFM and Max IK1GPG (see pic aside) in front of an audience of about hundred people, between authorities and Hams coming from  different parts of Italy and few European Countries.

WAIS Divide, Antarctic field camps WAP USA-34

Many Antarctic Research Stations, support satellite field camps which are, in general, seasonal camps. The type of field camp can vary;  some are permanent structures used during the annual Antarctic summer, whereas others are little more than tents used to support short term activities. Field camps are used for many things, from logistics (Sky Blu,  WAP GBR-NEW) to dedicated scientific research such as WAIS Divide Field Camp, WAP USA-34 located at 79° 28′ 03″ South, 112° 05′ 11″ West.

 

WAIS DIVIDE  is the ice flow divide on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) which is a linear boundary that separates the region where the ice flows to the Ross Sea, from the region where the ice flows to the Weddel Sea. It is similar to a continental hydrographic divide.

The site preparation for this Field Camp,  started in the 2005/2006 season with the construction of the skiway, and a steel arch shelter for drilling and core processing. Camp logistics was provided by Raytheon Polar Service Company and the air transport by the New York Air national Guard using LC-130 aircraft.

The deep coring started in the 2006/2007 season using the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill developed and operated by the Ice Drilling Design and Operations group at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The coring was stopped in December 2011 at a depth of 3,405 m, which is ~ 50 m above the bottom of the ice sheet. The last 50 m of ice was left in place to provide a barrier between the borehole and the pristine aqueous basal environment. The ice at the bottom of the hole fell as snow 67,748 years ago. In the 2012-2013 season additional core was collected in zones of high scientific interest.

The only Ham radio activity so far, from this location was made by Steve Polishinski WB9YSD who did sign KC4/WB9YSD. There is a very interesting web page http://www.wb9ysd.org/ where Steve explains the operation and the job at WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) field camp. After his operation on January 2010, WAP did issue a new reference number as WAP USA-34.

So far QSLs have not been issued and the Antarctic chasers are still waiting.

We take the opportunity to send Steve a prayer … the saying goes, “the final courtesy of a QSO is the QSL card”.

Plan to tow icebergs from Antarctica to parched Dubai

What do you do if you’re a fast-growing city in the desert with lots of thirsty people and little freshwater reserves? Park an iceberg off the coast.

That’s one Dubai-based engineering firm’s plan to provide fresh drinking water to the city’s rapidly-expanding population.

The National Advisor Bureau (NABL), a private engineering firm, wants to schlep a glacial iceberg from Antarctica – weighing approximately 100 million tons – to Dubai, via an intermediate stop in either Perth, Australia, or Cape Town, South Africa.

If the iceberg doesn’t melt along the way, the firm will sell the water to Dubai’s government.

If we succeed with this project, it could solve one of the world’s biggest problems – Abdulla Alshehi, NABL’s founder told NBC News- So if we can show this is viable, it could ultimately help not only the UAE, but all humanity.

Reed more  and watch a video at:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/106941489/plan-to-tow-icebergs-from-antarctica-to-parched-dubai

The monster Antarctic iceberg A-68 looks finally to be on the move.

For 13 months after breaking away from the White Continent’s long peninsula, the trillion-tonne block did little more than shuffle back and forth on the spot.

But now its southern end has swung round almost 90 degrees, indicating the berg has been caught in ocean currents.

The approaching southern summer should only assist its anticipated slow drift northwards, experts say.

“After more than a year of moving to and from near its parent ice shelf, iceberg A-68, which calved from the Larsen C Ice Shelf on 12 july 2017, has finally escaped,” commented Prof. Adrian Luckman from Swamsea University, UK.

Until recently, the iceberg was hemmed in by dense sea-ice in the east and shallow waters in the north.  Now, a strong foehn wind blowing eastwards off the ice shelf in early September has pushed the southerly end of the iceberg out into the Weddell Gyre. This persistent clockwise drift of ocean waters and floating sea-ice flowing north past the Larsen Ice Shelf has rotated A-68 out into the Weddell Sea.

“Here, it is much more free to begin moving away and be carried further north into warmer waters.”

Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute will lead one of the scientific cruises, using the Research Vessel Polarstern; the UK’s Scott Polar Research Institute will lead the other, run off the icebreaker SA Agulhas II.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45421315

Historical still standing Huts from the Antarctic Heroic Age 1897-1922

The first overwintering hut was erected in Antarctica  at Cape Adare in 1899 by the British Antarctic Expedition led by Carsten Borchgrevink.

It was a large wooden structure supplied as a kit for speed and ease of erection, it was the first time a building had been erected on Antarctica, perhaps surprisingly it still stands and so is the only remaining example of a surviving first building on any continent.

It set the pattern for Antarctic buildings for the next fifty years or so of wooden huts designed to be erected quickly during a short summer season that will at some time be interrupted by adverse weather conditions.

While the buildings were only needed for 2-3 years at most, they had to be very strong and sturdily placed to withstand the relentless onslaught of the elements.

Along with cold temperatures in Antarctica resulting in a slow rate of decomposition of the wood the huts were built from, this means that there are a number of huts that are still in existence today in pretty good condition, considering their age.

Shortly we’ll report about some new Huts not yet listed on WAP-WADA Directory; they will enter on WADA next release

TNX and credit to: www.coolantarctica.com

Read more about Huts in Antarctica at: https://www.coolantarctica.com/Travel/antarctica-huts-historic.php

VP8WA, Mr. Peter Short is SK

Written by Anthony W.DePrato WA4JQS

With sincere regret, we learn that Mr. Peter Short VP8WA of Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, became a SK 2 weeks ago.

Peter was a member of the South Sandwich Island DX Group. Peter was very hard working helping with our 1992 #1 Most Wanted DXPED VP8SSI and again in 1994 with our #1 most wanted DXPED 3YØPI to Peter the First Island.

Peter also helped later dxped’s going to South Sandwich ,South Georgia, and Peter 1st. He was the first and only RTTY QSO for many hams from the Falklands. Peter along with Marshall VP8PU and his XYL Dee VP8QG were for many during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s the only VP8 QSO’s.

Sadly they are all now QRT for the most part. Bob VP8LP who also helped with all the SSI-DXG and later dxped’s is now the only active Ham in Stanley for the most part.

I was the QSL manager for all,  but Bob VP8PL and still have the logsfor the following VP8’s: VP8PU, VP8QG, VP8WA, VP8ZV, VP8NJ, VP8QJ and VP8BZL.

Tony WA4JQS / VP8BLZ, Anthony W.DePrato WA4JQS since 1962

Cq Dx Hall Of Fame # 35, Dxcc Honor Roll, Dxpedition Of The Year 1992 VP8SSI.  Dxpedition Of The Year 1993/1994 3YØPI.

Calls held: VP8SSI, 3YØP,I VP8BZL, V31SS, ZD8JQS, WA4JQS/ZS1, WA4JQS/KC4, WA4JQS/4K1

TNX WA4JQS / VP8BLZ & Maxi, DL-SWL

Earthquake Strikes South Shetland Islands

Monday 27 Aug at  20:09:24  a moderate magnitude earthquake at a depth of 64.0 km in open waters did strike the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Epicenter latitude/longitude was 61.85° South, 58.5° West

The earthquake was felt also at the Korean King Sejong Station (WAP KOR-Ø1) and  in the Chilean Antarctic Base Pres. Eduardo Frei Montalva-Villa Las Estrellas (WAP CHL-Ø5),  54 km SW from epicenter.

Comment from the personnel overwintering at Arctowsky Polish Antarctic Station (WAP POL-Ø1) was: today between wind gusts we felt something new; – an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale-.

Details at: https://www.earthquaketrack.com/r/soth-shetland-isl…/recent

Antarctic community mourns loss of science leader

The Australian Antarctic Division has paid tribute to a former Chief Scientist, Professor Patrick (Pat) Quilty AM, who died on Sunday (26 August). Professor Quilty led the Division’s science program for more than 18 years from 1980–1999 and published more than 200 scientific papers.

The Australian Antarctic Division said long-serving former chief scientisProfessor Quilty died at the weekend at the age of 79.

After graduating in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Western Australia, Professor Quilty first visited Antarctica in 1965 as a field palaeontologist with the University of Wisconsin.
He received his PhD from the University of Tasmania in 1969.
AAD director Nick Gales said Professor Quilty had made an outstanding contribution to Antarctic science.

 

WAP sends personal heartfelt sympathies on the loss of Prof Pat Quilty to his family and to the whole AAD.

Global warming, a matter to be worried about!

Thanks to our HAM friend Juan Manuel Pereda LU4CJM,  this post reflects the  worries that rise to world level!

What we can do, is to share this and hope that something can change before it’s really too late.

 

 

 

Approximately 54 billion tons of greenhouse gases are emitted each year, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels.
The UN believes that these emissions should be reduced to 42 billion tons by 2030 to curb global warming below 2 degrees.

Women in science setting sail for Antarctica

Three University of Queensland researchers are among a group of 100 female scientists from around the world taking part in a year-long leadership scheme culminating in an Antarctic voyage.
They are part of the fourth group selected for the prestigious Homeward Bound program, which aims to create a global network of women in science who can influence policy and decision making.
The Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Dr Anna Vinkhuyzen and Hana Starobova and Dr Emma Kennedy from the Global Change Institute have teamed up with fellow Queenslanders, Bianca Das and Karen Aitken from CSIRO, to raise funds for the trip.
A three-week trip to Antarctica is the summit of a year-long journey, where the participants explore leadership, strategy, and how to extend the reach of their science message through virtual meetings and an online curriculum. The Queensland scientists will work and learn with colleagues from across the globe, despite their diverse research interests.
The fourth ship sails from Ushuaia, Argentina on 19 November 2019 and will visit several different research stations in Antarctica.
Read more at: https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2018/08/women-science-setting-sail-antarctica

Bellingshausen Station (WAP RUS-Ø1) – Rainbow above the Trinity Church

Spring is coming in Antarctica; rainbow above Holy Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station (WAP RUS-Ø1), King George Island; world’s southernmost Russian Orthodox church.
Correction from Wessex Weather: it’s probably not a rainbow because it doesn’t appear to be raining; more likely a fogbow or cloudbow (some navigators call them white rainbows).
Photo: Vitaly Boldin, AARI

Thanks and credit: https://www.facebook.com/TheAntarcticReport/photos/a.906628919420995/1756443784439500/?type=3&theater

San Diego Scientists to use drones in Antarctica Research

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have tracked krill populations in the southern oceans for years, but for the first time, they plan to use autonomous computer-driven drones to help with the basic research.

Krill are tiny crustaceans that are a key building block of the food web in the southern oceans. The shrimp-like creatures feed whales, seals, penguins and people. The tiny animals are known for their large underwater swarms.

NOAA scientists have tracked fluctuating krill populations for years as part of an international effort to better understand the food web in the Antarctic.

Click on the gif aside to see an interesting video of this project.
“We study krill so we understand whether its trends and abundance are likely to be influenced by how much fishing effort we do, but also whether that fishing effort will impact the upper trophic levels like penguins and seals,” said Christian Reiss, a senior researcher at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla.

But packing up a research vessel and traveling to the bottom of the world takes time and money. Both are in short supply at a federal agency that is keeping a close eye on shrinking budgets.

Thanks and credit to: https://www.kpbs.org/news/2018/aug/16/san-diego-scientists-use-drones-antarctica-researc/ where you can get more

Italy – A day of National mourning

WAP  joins the day of National mourning for the victims of the collapse of the Morandi highway bridge in Genoa.

Inaugurated in 1967, the Morandi viaduct served as the main East-West artery linking Genova and the entire southern Mediterranean. It was a key logistics point for trucks loading and unloading containers in Italy’s biggest gateway port, as well as the heavy car traffic towards different higways.

 

On 11:36 Tuesday morning, August 14th, the towering concrete icon of national pride collapsed into a jagged heap, swallowing carloads of innocent passersby, crushing the dreams of dozens of families leaving the whole country upset

 

Our sympathy and our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

Snipe Island, Chilean Navy outpost and Meteorological Station WAP CHL-NEW

The Snipe island  54 ° 57′ South,  67 ° 9′ West  was involved into a military incident that took place between Chile and Argentina during 1958 as a result of a disputed border line in the Beagle Channel for the possession of that islet.

Snipe Island, located a mile from Navarino, is a small rocky formation with sparse vegetation that was occupied by an indigenous Yahgan from that island, authorized by Chile to graze sheep in it.

On January 12, 1958, the Micalvi cutter of the Chilean Navy, based in Punta Arenas, built a blind beacon on the Snipe island, on the Beagle Channel, as an aid to navigation and on May 1 of the same year, the Patrolman Lientur was commissioned to install a luminous beacon on its structure, giving the corresponding international warning to alert sailors to its existence.

The fate of Snipe islet has since been settled by the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984, as an internationally recognized territory of the state of Chile.

There is now a lighthouse (WAP CHL-LH-NEW) on the islet. The Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 between Chile and Argentina was signed into agreement at the Vatican on 29 November 1984.

Actually,  on this sub-Antarctic site there is a Navy outpost, a Meterological Station  and a Lighthouse.

 

Who knows if one day, some willing Radio operator or one of the Chilean Radio Clubs will try to activate this rare DX spot … ee would be happy and proud to Log a DXpedition from Snipe Island!

Polar Challenge 2018 by the French Polar Team

The 2018 results of  Arctic Challenge , Antarctic  Challenge , Polar Challenge ( Arctic Ch + Antarctic Ch ) are available online via :
http://french-polar-team.fr/Polar_Trophy_files/Polar%20Trophy%20Scores.pdf , where the full list can be seen

About Antarctic Challenge the 1st 20 Hams on the 2018 list are:

 

 

The French Polar Team’s website (http://french-polar-team.fr ) is dedicated to amateur radios and Short Waves Listeners (SWL) fascinated by Polar and Sub-Antarctic Rregions.

 

Mehdi F5PFP  and Michel F6DWQ have created the Polar Trophy in the  aim  to stimulate the radio contacts with these regions as well as with the Polar ships. This challenge is subdivided in the Antarctic Challenge and the Arctic Challenge.

TNX  Michel F6DWQ & Mehdi F5PFP for the great job!

Today on all Australian Antarctic Stations flags are flying at half mast

Today on all Australian Stations flags are flying at half mast in honour of Geoffrey Reeve who passed away at Casey in 1979. ( pic aside shows Casey Cross at Reeve’s Hill)

Geoffrey Basil Reeve, was the first Casey expeditioner to die while serving in Antarctica; he died of exposure and hypothermia in 1979 during a blizzard.

August 1979 at Casey Base, Antarctica: Geoffrey Reeve died of exposure after he became lost in a blizzard 10km from Casey. He was the senior electrical fitter-mechanic at the station, and deputy officer-in-charge. Early in August Mr Reeve was one of six members of the winter party who camped at Robinson Ridge, a rock out-crop about 10km from Casey, to undertake maintenance and biological observations. On August 5 he was moving in the camp precincts when he was caught in a sudden blizzard which reached a speed of 96 knots. Other members of the party found Geoffrey Reeve unconscious less than a kilometre from the camp. A search and rescue team, including the medical officer, Dr K. de Jonge, was sent from Casey by tractor, and brought Mr Reeve back to the station. Further resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful. Mr Reeve’s family asked that his body be returned to Australia for burial. It will be flown out from Casey on one of the two flights which a United States Navy Hercules will make from McMurdo Station in the first week of November.

Source: https://antarcticsociety.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Antarctic.V8.11.1979.pdf

The Jesuits and their important presence in Antarctica

In spite of the famous saying “below 40 degrees South there is no law; below 50 degrees South there is no God” the exploration of the continent was in fact closely connected to religious activities Jesuit  geophysicists. Some of the early religious buildings are now protected as important historical monuments. Antarctica has various places of worship and an increasing demand for religious services and construction of sacred architecture on the Continent

Jesuit is the largest single order in the Catholic church, with more than 19,000 members by its own count, and a presence on every continent  including Antarctica, where Jesuits have been chaplains and, in keeping with their order’s reputation as the church’s intellectual powerhouse, even scientists. Jesuits have a 60 year history in Antarctica. In 1951 a 27 year-old French Jesuit scholastic (seminarian) and here below are some of them:

Rev. Pierre-Noël Mayaud (1923-2006), was one of 17 scientists who sailed on the polar exploration ship Commandant Charcot to spend 12 months at  Adelie land, the French sector of Antarctica.  Mayaud had become a Jesuit in 1941 at the age of 18. Permission for him to join the Antarctic expedition was given by Fr.  Jean-Baptiste Janssens, who was at that time the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, because it was believed that the experience he gained in Antarctica and the scientific work he did there would be a great asset in his future work as a professor at a Catholic university. Later in his life Father Mayaud, a geophysicist, was member of Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). See:  https://antarcticjesuit.com/2013/01/04/french-jesuit-in-antarctica/

 

The Rev. Edward C. Bradley (* 18 july 1928, +8 june 2011, aged 82), was a Philadelphia physician who became a Jesuit priest when he was 50  In June 1979, the month before his 51st birthday, he was ordained as a Jesuit priest. for 18 years, Bradley had been one of the University’s most ambitious and adventurous Jesuit scientists, operating a state-of-the-art seismology station and challenging students in the classroom, all the while regaling everyone with stories of his adventures—particularly of his trip to Antarctica and his explorations at the bottom of the world

 

Father Michael Smith Australian Jesuit, visited the South Pole in December 2012 when he was a chaplain to the US base in the Antarctic (pic aside).

 

Father Dan Doyle (1932-2014) has been the leader of New Zealand’s Antarctic Ministry for the past 15 years, spending 14 summers at the Antarctic base as priest to a maximum summertime population of 2,000. In the winter, when the Antarctic falls dark, the population drops to about 150 essential staff.

Reginald J. Beck, VE7IG, SK

WAP has just got the sad news of VE7IG SK.

Reginald J. Beck VE7IG (VE1DXA) passed away on July 24. First licensed as VE7ANI the day of his 18th birthday in June 1956.

Reg was a great DXer and one of the most active Antarctic Hunters; he did share his huge Antarctica QSL collection with us;  his ancient and precious QSL cards are loaded  into the WAP Antarctic QSL Gallery

We keep a fantastic recall of Reg when long ago (1991) he did  join us for the 1st IOTA Meeting held in Loano Italy. Reg was guest in our houses and we spent a wonderful time together.

The pictures show some of that moments. (pic above, L to R: Gianni I1HYW, Yuki, JI6KVR, Max IK1GPG, Betty IK1QFM and among us Reg, VE7IG)

The pic below, shows L to R: EA5KB, CT4NH, IK1GPG, I1BSN,  IK1HSS and the good friend Reg VE7IG.

The Antarctic Community have lost one of his best guys, a professional Ham, a very skilled operator and a real good friend, always ready to help.

Reg is holding WAP WACA & WAP-WADA Top Honor rolls with 334 Antarctic callsigns (WACA) and 139 Bases worked (WADA)

 

Rest in Peace Reg, we’ll never forget you.

On behalf of the Hams and Antarctic Community, our deepest condolences to his family

Antarctic expedition hopes for Ernest Shackleton bonus

A scientific expedition will next year try to find the Endurance, the ill-fated ship of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The vessel sank in 1915, crushed by sea-ice in the Weddell Sea and lost in 3,000m of water.

Shackleton and his crew were forced into lifeboats to make an extraordinary and heroic escape across the Southern Ocean.

UK researcher Prof Julian Dowdeswell will lead the international effort.

He expects to have the cruise on station in January/February.

Locating the shipwreck is not the primary goal of the expedition; the major objective is to visit and study the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which last July calvedone of the biggest iceberg ever recorded in Antarctica.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43703723

LU4ZS Base Marambio (WAP ARG-21) “On air” by LU4CMF

Hereby  a couple of pics of Cristian Mauro Fabregat, LU4CMF, operator at Marambio Base as  LU4ZS in a site with -50ºC and 100 km/h of Antarctic wind.

LU4ZS is actually the solo station active from Marambio Base, while on the several Argentinean Stations in Antarcticano one is QRV. 

We must plaude Cristian and we have to thank him  to still believe in the power of the Ham Radio and in the heart of Radio Amateurs.
We really hope that Argentine Authorities can encourage the use of Amateur Radio bands in Antarctica to not dissipate the cultural heritage that Ham radio has been able to create in the international community since the last century.

Thanks Cristian you’re doing great!

QSL via LU4AA, Radio Club Argentino
P.O. BOX 97
Ciudad de Buenos Aires, C1000WAA, Argentina

 

 

TNX LU4AA, LU4CMF/LU4ZS and LU4CJM

From the Antarctic ice, the discovery of the first extragalactic source of neutrinos

IceCube can tell the direction of some neutrinos to better than a quarter of a degree. It consists of a billion tons of diamond-clear Antarctic ice about two kilometers deep, monitored by more than 5,000 light detectors. In 2013 it detected the first high-energy neutrinos coming from beyond our atmosphere. But that breakthrough was not entirely satisfying because those neutrinos had rained in uniformly across the sky: There was no indication of the specific objects that may have emitted them—no “point source.”

This past September IceCube detected a neutrino carrying about 20 times the energy of any particle that could possibly be created by the most powerful man-made accelerators. This meant it had probably come from outer space.

The instrument broadcast an automated alert.

IceCube’s alerts generate a lot of interest among astronomers, because the neutrino represents the third arrow in the quiver of the newborn field of multimessenger astronomy.  Astrophysicists have long dreamed of employing messengers besides light to reveal the inner workings of the many unfathomable wonders in the cosmos. And the dream had come true only one month earlier, when three gravitational wave observatories had detected the merger of two neutron stars and optical telescopes had tied that merger to a gamma-ray burst: a brief flash of the most energetic form of light. No neutrinos were seen, however.

Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/neutrinos-on-ice-astronomers-long-hunt-for-source-of-extragalactic-ghost-particles-pays-off/

Chilean facility in Antarctica destroyed in fire

The headquarters of the Chilean Maritime Authority in Antarctica, located in one of the buildings of Base Arturo Prat (WAP CHL-Ø1) was destroyed by fire today, Thursday, July 12, 2018. The Maritime Government is the agency of the Navy that aims to support maritime traffic, collaborate in search and rescue actions, control pollution, support evacuation actions, among other tasks.

The Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) deeply regrets the fire that during the early hours of Thursday, burned out all the whole installation  of the Chilean Antarctic Maritime Administration, administered by the Chilean Navy, on King George Island.
According to Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero, thanks to the emergency work, the 10 people employed  there,  were unharmed. For the moment, they are in good health and has already offered accommodation in the Scientific Base “Professor Julio Escudero” (WAP CHL-Ø7); for now, they are being supported by staff of the Eduardo Frei Montalva Base, (WAP CHL-Ø5) of the Chilean Air Force.
The INACH will send personnel to the area as soon as possible to evaluate the conditions of the Escudero Scientific Base, adjacent to the Maritime Governance. The collaboration between both bases allowed to give viability and safety conditions to the maritime activities of the Antarctic Scientific Expedition. The Bases of the INACH and the Maritime Governance shared since 2011 the use of a sewage treatment plant in order to meet the environmental commitments derived from the Madrid Protocol. The viability of its use should be defined with urgency, since Base Prof. Julio Escudero  represents the main Chilean scientific base, with more than 250 scientists passing through it every summer season.

The Navy has been present in the Antarctic territory since 1957, initially with the base Arturo Prat and then with the Chilean Antarctic Maritime Governance and the Harbor Captaincy of Bahía Fildes, with a permanent presence and also in Bahía Paraíso with a Port Captaincy covered in summer period in facilities of the Chilean Air Force. The damaged building was built in 1990.

Source: http://www.t13.cl/noticia/nacional/incendio-afecto-base-chilena-antartica  and

https://prensaantartica.com/2018/07/12/incendio-destruye-instalaciones-de-la-gobernacion-maritima-en-el-territorio-antartico-chileno/   and http://www.24horas.cl/nacional/incendio-consume-en-su-totalidad-la-gobernacion-maritima-de-la-antartica-chilena-2763288

R1ANR-RI1ANR, Novo Runway- Antarctica WAP MNB-Ø6

Making an HF contact into Antarctica is always a great DX!  One of the very active spot on the Icy Continent is the Blue one Runway (or Novo Runway aka DROMLAN), an Airbase managed by ALCI (Antarctic Logistics Centre International) that works during the austral summer from late October to beginning of March, as a logistics service provider in the Dronning Maud Land Air Network (DROMLAN) since its inception in 2002. It offers a full range of services for the flights from Cape Town to Antarctica.

These include chartering suitable aircraft and helicopters when necessary, additional equipment for aircraft with required safety and rescue equipment, providing all necessary permits, licenses and insurance for this type of flight, handling of crew, passengers and cargo at Cape Town airport, supply of aviation fuel in Cape Town and Antarctica. ALCI make sure that both aircraft and crew comply with all International standards on safety and operations and that aviation activity in Antarctica will not be detrimental to the environment.

In this very important site,  Ham radio activity has never been left out. Three unforgettable operators; OlegSakharov ZS1ANF,  Slava Savkin RD3MX and  Alex Shmarin  UA1PAW  have been active from Novo Runway  (70° 49’ 31” South, 11° 37’ 41” East) since 2007 giving thousands of Hams a real new one or a great DX, tying up  their callsigns to the history of Radio communication from the Antarctic.

 

Thanks to Nick Shapkin RK1PWA, we have just received the last printed QSL of RI1ANR that confirms the QSOs of 2015-2016

Annual Event from Antarctica at Base Marambio (WAP ARG-21)

LU4ZS, Marambio Antarctic Base Station (WAP ARG-21), operated by Cristian LU4CMF, will be on air from July 7 to July 15 in SSB and FT8 modes. Cristian will also join the participation in the annual event “The Argentine Republic in two days” this  weekend,and it  will be managed by LU4AA, foreseeing an operation in 7 MHz band,  SSB mode.
The contacts of this operation will be confirmed via LU4AA.

Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp social  will provide the followers with  news and information

Here below, a more than shareable comment by Juan Manuel Pereda LU4CJM, aka operator at LU1ZI Carlini Station and to few of the very rare Argentine Refuges in Antarctica

Amateurs, media and institutions related to the radio around the world,  contact me asking when LU1ZI Argentine Antarctic Base “Carlini” (WAP ARG-20),  one of the “Most wanted contacts” at international level will be airing again.

How to explain to all these people that the “change of authorities”, the “lack of investments in equipments” and the ”lack of interest in the Ham radio activity” made the Argentine Scientific Bases in Antarctica disappearing from the Ham radio field?

Luckily there are people who carry on huge efforts to continue the activations from the white continent. Congratulations to the Marambio Base and to the Argentine Radio Club LU4AA for persisting to spread Argentine Antarctic Ham radio activity around the world.

Felicitaciones a la Base Marambio y al Radio Club Argentino por seguir difundiendo la actividad Antártica Argentina alrededor del mundo.

TNX LU4ZS, LU4CMF, LU4AA & LU4CJM

I have been to Antarctica

Today news, is dedicated to the over 7,000 members of  “I have been to Antarctica”, a Facebook group devoted to all those who have been to the Icy Continent, who did travel or want to travel to the icy edge of the Earth and made it back to share their stories.

The site is hosted on the page of Facebook:  (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2212798205/?ref=bookmarks) ; Tim Baker (Administrator) says: -This is a place to post about things that happen/happened on/around the ice, or a place for people to ask questions about it-.

Not only penguins or marine life; Antarctica is a land of study and research with several Scientific Bases all spread on the coast, on the islands and inside the main land … a land of peace and fraternity, that’s why it’s a great Continent!  WAP is happy to share the Antarctic passion with those, like us, who enjoy Antarctica as much as we do since 1979 …and next year, will be our 40th Anniversary!!!

NSF invites professional news media to submit proposals to report from Antarctica

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals from media professionals to visit Antarctica to report on research supported by NSF’s Office of Polar Programs (OPP) through the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP).

Those selected to deploy would visit Antarctica between early November and mid-December of 2018.

Applicants must submit to NSF a written expression of interest in participating in the program — the equivalent of no more than three printed pages — describing the media in which the reporting will appear and a description of the potential audiences.  For reporting unrelated to the Thwaites Glacier opportunity, U.S. media receive preference in selection.

Application deadline: 5 p.m. (local time) on July 15, 2018. Electronic submissions are required, either as an email or as an attachment to an email. The email subject line must read “2018 Antarctic Media Application” or the application will not be considered.

More details at: https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=295843&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

Antarctica contaminated with microplastics

Microplastics and chemicals used in a range of household goods have found their way to Antarctica’s pristine waters and ice caps, research shows.
Greenpeace says the microplastics, which are commonly used in body washes and toothpaste, and polyfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS), like those used in non-stick cookware, were found in samples taken from Antarctica’s waters and snow between January and March this year.
The findings have sparked calls from Greenpeace for an Antarctic ocean sanctuary to be set up, so penguins, whales and the frozen continent’s entire ecosystem can recover from the pollution pressures they are facing.
“We may think of the Antarctic as a remote and pristine wilderness, but from pollution and climate change to industrial krill fishing, humanity’s footprint is clear,” Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign spokeswoman Frida Bengtsson said as the findings were released on Thursday.
“Plastic has now been found in all corners of our oceans, from the Antarctic to the Arctic and at the deepest point of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. We need urgent action to reduce the flow of plastic into our seas.”
The microplastics and potentially hazardous chemicals were detected in samples collected from the sea surface and seabed, as well as freshly fallen snow in remote waters and islands off the Antarctic Peninsula and Bransfield Strait.
Microplastics, which include synthetic fibres and beads found in personal hygiene products, were found in seven of the eight water samples, with at least one microplastic fibre per litre.
They were also detected in another two samples collected using a manta trawl net that scraped along the sea surface.
There is growing concern internationally about the increasing presence of polluting microplastics in waterways, with many countries having banned their use in cosmetic products.
While the United States has banned microbeads, which can be mistaken by sea animals as food, Australia is relying on companies to voluntarily phase them out by the middle of this year.
Greenpeace said while not much was known about the extent of microplastics in Antarctica, its research suggested that the continent’s natural barrier to seawater flowing from the north – the Antarctica circumpolar current – was being breached by the tiny polluting particles.
As part of Greenpeace’s research, traces of PFAS, which are used in non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing and fabrics, and fire-fighting foam, were found in seven of nine fresh snow samples that were collected and analysed.
“The findings in snow samples are unlikely to be due to contamination from local inputs as a result of research activities and tourism in the local areas, as the snow was freshly fallen,” Greenpeace said in a report.
“The chemicals found in the snow could have been transported in the atmosphere over long distances, washed out by precipitation and then deposited in the Antarctic snow.”
Source: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/antarctica-contaminated-with-microplastics/news-story/eb6a8d6453ca2577da40b12ba8f56eed

Activation of VI7ØMI WAP-293

VI7ØMI is a Special Callsign issued to Commemorate 70 years of  ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions) for Macquarie Island, which since 1947 have served Australia in the South polar regions. The first ANARE Expedition to Macquarie Island was in March 1947.

A Special Event Callsign VI7ØMI (Both Zone 29 and Zone 30 will be using this call) will be active from June 20th until August 31st 2018.
All HF bands 160m-10m, SSB, CW, RTTY and possibly digital modes also.

VI7ØMI will be joining the WAP World Antarctic Program and the WAP reference given is  WAP-293.  (For further info on WAP, see: http://www.waponline.it)
*** Please Note: This Commemorative activity is from mainland Australia and NOT from Macquarie Island. ***

Back to the history:
In 1912, Australia pioneered the first radio communications in Antarctica at the Commonwealth Bay base via a relay station at sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. Australia established its first stations in the sub-antarctic at Heard Island in December 1947 and Macquarie Island a few months later in March 1948.
The sub-Antarctic station on Macquarie Island was officially opened on 21 March 1948, with a team of 14 expeditioners staying for winter. For the first time, expeditioners were not cut off from the world; instead receiving regular news, and sending official and personal messages back home. Wintering Party on Macquarie Island in 1948 :
Officer in Charge : Alan R Martin
Medical Officer : A Roger Bennett
Cook : Charles F (Charlie) Du Toit
Diesel Mechanic : Charles H Scoble accidentally drowned 4 July 1948
Diesel Mechanic : T Frank Keating from 4 Aug 48. landed from RAAF Catalina flown by S/L R H S Gray
Radio Supervisor : Geoff Mottershead
**Radio Operator: Peter W King
**Radio Operator: Gersh Major

Biologist : Ron Kenny
Meteorologist : Alan R Martin
Weather Observer : William M (Bill) Monkhouse
Weather Observer : Ron M Chadder
Physicist : Ken C Hines
Physicist : Charles S (Charlie) Speedy
Photographer, Department of Information) : Norman R (Norm) Laird
The station was commissioned on 21 March 1948 after Wyatt Earp had arrived at Buckles Bay. The first ANARE wintering party comprised 13 expeditioners. On 4 August 1948 an RAAF Catalina flying boat piloted by R H S Gray visited the Island to put ashore a diesel mechanic to replace Charles H Scoble who was accidently drowned a month before. The Catalina returned to Wigram, New Zealand the same day with mail. Sheep and goats were introduced and comprehensive long term scientific programs were initiated. (Information above collected by Max Corry)

To date there has never been a Ham Radio DXpedition to Macquarie Island. The only activities are from Hams stationed on the island for Summer or Winter tours.
Currently Norbert VKØAI is the only active operator on Macquarie Island (WAP AUS-Ø8)

The Special event callsign VI7ØMI (WAP-293) is to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of the first ANARE base at Macquarie Island, March 1948. The activity is to raise the profile of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), Amateur Radio in general, ANARE, Parks Tasmania and the Antarctic Research programs globally and within Australia.
A special commemorative QSL card will be available after completion of the activation via MØOXO our QSL manager. https://www.m0oxo.com/oqrs/logsearch.php

QRS will be available and also LOTW.
*** Please do not send your QSL cards via the VK buro as they are not required – Please just request your buro cards by OQRS for a fast return! ***

Interesting and useful links:
http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/macquarie-island
http://www.antarctica.gov.au/webcams/macquarie-island
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macquarie_Island_Station
http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/fahan_mi_shipwrecks/journals/Scientists/sowirelesscrew4.pdf
http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/history/exploration-and-expeditions/anare-is-created
http://anareclub.org/web/index.php
http://wia.org.au/

TNX Malcolm Johnson VK6LC &  Peter Clee VK8ZZ

K1IED, Larry F Skilton, is SK

Larry did a long time service for the stations in Antarctica; years ago Larry was very active in the 14.240 DX Group to keep contact with the operators down in the Icy Continent and also acting as official  QSL manager for KC4USV, McMurdo (WAP USA-22),  KC4AAA Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (old WAP USA-21 and most recent rebuild WAP USA-36), and KC4AAC, Palmer Station (WAP USA-23).

Larry K1IED is SK as of June 2, 2018; he was a great guy. He had been battling cancer for some time and it got the better of him recently.

We don’t know who might try now  to take over the  Antarctic QSL duties, but sure someone from the US will do that.

We will miss you Larry, R.I.P.

Polar 2018-Davos Switzerland 15-26 June 2018

 

The WSL Insitute for snow and Avalance Research SLF is organizing POLAR2018,  which will take place in Davos, Switzerland from 15 – 26 June 2018.

Where the Polar comes together
POLAR2018
is a joint event from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research SCAR and the International Arctic Science Committee IASC.

The SCAR meetings, the ASSW and the Open Science Conference will be hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL under the patronage of the SAwiss Committee on Polar and High Altitude. The event, will include:

XXXV SCAR Biennial Meetings

Arctic Science Summit Week 2018 & IASC Business Meetings

SCAR/IASC Open Science Conference

2018 Arctic Observing Summit

Timeline
15 – 18 June 2018 SCAR and IASC/ASSW Business & Satellite Meetings

19 – 23 June 2018 SCAR/IASC Open Science Conference & Open COMNAP Session

24 – 26 June 2018 SCAR Delegates Meeting & 2018 Arctic Observing Summit

Read more and follow the program at: https://www.polar2018.org/

Prathyusha inspires many towards Antarctica dream

Prathyusha Parakala is the only one from AP and TS to be part of the ClimateForce: Antarctica (CFA) expedition 2018.

HYDERABAD: Scores of Hyderabadis are making the city proud by trekking to Antarctica. Prathyusha Parakala is the latest trailblazer from the city, who was among the 90 global climate force ambassadors selected to create awareness about climate change.
“Until last year, there were spots in Antarctica where humans could not reach as it was covered with thick ice. This year, we could do so. This was after climate change, which led to melting of ice,” said Parakala, who was felicitated for her achievement by Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao with the ‘Visisht Puraskar’ on Formation Day.
Parakala is not the only one to have made it to the group of  ambassadors. Apart from this, city-based entrepreneur and engineer Vijay Raghav Varada was also selected to fly to Antarctica to evaluate performance of his innovation, a 3D printable vertical wind turbine that generates energy.
In 2016, Thammala Sandhya, a mother of two, was among many explorers from across the world to be a part of the International Antarctic Expedition. In January 2018, doing away with a comfortable job in an e-commerce firm, Sunil Kumar, a city-based chartered accountant took part in the expedition

This was the last year that the two-week expedition to Antarctica was hosted by reputed environmentalist Robert Swan.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/prathyusha-inspires-many-towards-antarctica-dream/articleshow/64501307.cms
TNX: 
Bhagwati Prasad Semwal (VU3BPZ Ex-AT10BP/8T2BH)
(20,24,29,31,35th, WOT Maitri/Bharati )

ITALIA Valley Memorial, a job to be proud

The tireless PH D Julius Fabbri IV3CCT did accomplish the mission to build a Memorial to recall the Giacomo Bove Base (WAP ITA-Ø2) in Antarctica and the 1st Italian Antarctic Expedition (Antarctic summer 1975-1976) led by Renato Cepparo, I1SR, with the aim of bringing Italy into the group of states adhering to the Antarctic Treaty.

 

Following the laying of the foundation stone on February 24th 2018, last May 25 when the job was done,  a nice  ceremony was held at the “A. Malignani” High School of Cervignano (Udine); the inauguration of the Memorial, with Authorities and Students was a great moment of satisfaction even for the young students, Professors and all those who did help the construction of this Memorial which now a reality to be proud.

Malignani School will also be the location for the 2019  WAP Antarctic Activity Week,  on the air with the special call  II3BOVE WAP-271.

TNX IV3CCT & IV3RYQ