Vanda Station (WAP NZL-NEW): History of an Antarctic Outpost 

Vanda Station was an Antarctic Research Base in the western highlands (Victoria Land) of the Ross Dependency, specifically on the shore of Lake Vanda, at the mouth of Onyx River, in the Wright Valley. The four original station buildings were constructed in the summers of 1967–1968 and 1968–1969, just prior to the first winter-over by a five-man team from January to October 1969.

Subsequent wintering parties occupied the station in 1970 and 1974. During summer seasons, Vanda Station was fully staffed until 1991.

Scientific programs principally included meteorology, hydrology, seismology, earth currents, and magnetics. The station was administered by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), and was supported logistically by the permanent New Zealand research Scott Base  (WAP NZL-Ø1) on Ross Island.

In 1995, environment concerns resulted in the base being closed. Various activities associated with the station’s occupation, including excavations, the erection of buildings, disturbances caused by vehicle movements, the storage of consumables, waste disposal, and accidental spills, led to the effort to remove the station.

Today, an Automatic Weather Station is at the site of former Vanda Station, and Lake Vanda Hut, a shelter that is periodically (summer only) occupied by 2 to 8 New Zealand stream researchers

Vanda Station: History of an Antarctic Outpost 1968-1995,  is a 52 pages book written by  Dr David Harrowfield pubblished  by  New Zealand Antarctic Society, 1999

The book is Available in the National Library of Australia collection, and through the N.Z. Antarctic Society, PO Box 404, Christchurch, N.Z.

 

Vanda Station is listed on WAP-WADA directory as WAP NZL-NEW, waiting someone to put it on the air!

Museum of the Marambio Foundation at Villa Adelina-Argentina

One of the most important Argentine  Antarctic Museum did open its doors on the occasion of the Anniversary of Marambio Base foundation .

The Antarctic Museum of the Marambio Foundation located in Cerrito street 4092/4, Villa Adelina, Buenos Aires  province,  is  opened to the public every Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from  2:00 to 6:00PMm, during the whole month of October and until Wednesday, November 15,  with free admission, offering  special visits to educational institutions, retired or tourist groups and others.

It’s a great importance for teachers,  students and the public in general; it has illustrations on the history and general subjects related to the Argentina Antarctic sector and testimonies on the foundation of Base Marambio  (WAP ARG-21)  , fact that is included in the School Calendar.

More  at: www.marambio.aq/museovillaadelina.html

Photo gallery at: https://spark.adobe.com/page/GVFXhtmajdfIc/

Arctic and Antarctic Museum did open in France

As global warming reshapes the Arctic and Antarctic, a new designed Museum  like a giant iceberg,  dedicated to the Poles has been opened last march 2017. The Museum built by the son of a renowned French explorer aims to show “the beauty of polar landscapes” and illustrate the consequences of climate change. The new museum dedicated entirely to the Arctic and the Antarctic has opened in Prémanon, France.

Just like a frozen floe, over 60% of the Espace des Mondes Polaires Paul-Emile Victor museum is actually located beneath the surface. Much of the museum’s collection is made up of documents and objects that belonged to the great French explorer Paul-Emile Victor who travelled extensively across both Polar regions. It includes an assortment of notes, manuscripts and expedition reports as well as footage shot in the Arctic. Other objects on show include Inuit art, kayaks, pottery and stuffed animals such as polar bears and wolves.

Founded by Victor’s son, Jean-Christophe, one of the key objectives of the museum is to highlight the changes both regions are currently undergoing. As well as a permanent exhibition, the museum will host a number of temporary displays regarding the Arctic and Antarctic. It also has an ice rink and a restaurant.

Others important Museums are:  The Polar Museum in Cambridge, Englandthe Arctic & Antarctic Museum in St Petersburg Russia;   André expedition Polarcenter Museum in Gränna, Sweden; the Polarship Fram Museum Museum in Oslo; Museo Nazionale dell’Antartide Felice Ippolito located in 3 sites in Italy:  Trieste (http://www.mna.it/trieste/trieste-sede-espositiva , Genova (http://www.mna.it/genova/genova-sede-espositiva) and Siena (http://www.mna.it/siena/siena-sede-espositiva). Famous is also the Antarctic Museum in Buenos Aires-Argentina (http://www.antartidaurbana.com/museo-antartico-en-buenos-aires/?lang=en  and  http://cruncho.com/buenos-aires/visit/museo-de-la-direccion-antartica-gral-hernan-pujato-2781689/)

WAP Antarctic QSL Gallery

Finally we did find a time to upload another batch of Antarctic QSLs into the WAP Antarctic QSL Gallery. Some of the cards are Old and rare, some are New to confirm last activities and new callsigns showed up recently from Antarctica.

These “New Entries”  are bringing the total quantity nearly to 2800 cards loaded in different albums; one for each Country. Now a day  WAP Antarctic QSL Gallery is the largest one WW, and it includes several real ancient cards loaded in a specific Album. Thanks to  the great help of several Hams worldwide who did send us their cards.

Once again a request: If you know some Old Timers having ancient or rare Antarctic cards, please ask to scan them and forward to WAP, Our Dbase of QSL card is like a glass coffin, where everybody can enjoy watching the jewels inside… and they will never get lost.

If you are Ham DXers, please scan your Antarctic & Sub Antarctic QSLs if they are missing on the Gallery and send them on. We will be more than pleased to join them to the existing collection and share them on, all the way.

Just a couple of suggestion to surf the Gallery:
Enter the page by clicking WAP Antarctic QSL Gallery on the main page, then click on enter. Now you are on the Gallery; always remember to click the red square with a ”+” inside and you will open the Country list,  one county by one and you can see all the cards loaded- There are several galleries on the Album:

Antarctic QSL Gallery

Sub-Antarctic Territories

Special Events QSL Gallery

Polar Ship Gallery

Antarctic Philatelic Gallery

Marconi QSL Gallery

To enter each one of them, just click on ”+” inside the small red square aside to the left.

IPSSIA Project (Institution of the First Italian Antarctic Historical Site)

Last 24 & 25 sept. Prof Ph D Julius Fabbri went to  MAECI (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) in Rome for a second time, to discuss the progress of its  IPSSIA Project.

It was a fruitful time  and a chance to access the historical-diplomat archive of the “Farnesina”,  the headquarters of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome.
I thank infinitely S.E. Amb. Ferdinando Nelli Feroci and Mr. Min. Armando Barucco together with the staff of the Archives and library for their invaluable contribution – said Prof. Ph D Julius Fabbri.

An envelope has been delivered “own hands” to Tomas Ferrari‘s new Argentina ambassador in Italy. –Open Argentina to the world’ – was the choice of Ferrari when he was nominated  as Argentina’s representative to Rome, and this is certainly a good wish.

 

-We strongly hope in the help of Argentina to complete the collection of the necessary material for the definition of the IPSSIA project and finally have the first Italian Antarctic historical site where, time ago the Giacomo Bove Base was built by Renato Cepparo 1976’s Expedition- declared Prof. Ph D Julius Fabbri.

Port Lockroy WAP GBR-Ø1 (a UK Antarctic Heritage)

 Port Lockroy, Base ‘A’ (WAP GBR-Ø1) , is a British historic Base situated on Goudier Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.

It was established in 1944 and operated as a British Research Station until it closed in 1962. The abandoned Base was designated a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty and in 1996 restored as a  “living’ museum”.

Base A now welcomes visitors to the site every Austral summer, in order to promote the work of the UKAHT on the Peninsula and in the UK and to give visitors a taste of base life from the early days of British occupation.

It is visited each Austral summer by approximately 18,000 ship-borne visitors, amounting to one to two ship visits per day.

In the photos you can see the three buildings at Port Lockroy: Bransfield House, the Boat Shed and the Nissen Hut. In the distance you can also see the anemometer tower as well as the antenna mast (in 1957 Port Lockroy used to have eight antenna masts which were used for high frequency radio communication).

Read more at: http://www.ukaht.org/discover/port-lockroy/ 

 

Davis Station Airdrop

In a first for the Australian Antarctic Program, nine tonnes of cargo was parachuted from the back of a Royal Australian Airforce C-17A Globemaster III and on to the sea ice near Davis Research Station (WAP AUS-Ø3) on Sept.20-2017

The C-17A was refuelled by a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport – high above the Southern Ocean – half-way through the 10,000km round trip mission.

The cargo was predominately food based, including fresh lemons and carrots, and also included medical supplies and telecommunications equipment. The pallets were ripped by the Australian Army’s 176 Air Dispatch Squadron.

photos were captured from the sea ice by Barry Becker.

Source: http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2017/mid-air-refuel-extends-reach-of-australian-antarctic-program#v208710
There is a nice video at the bottom of the article, don’t  miss it!

Other videos provided by Australian Antarctic Division are available here:

 

VK2FR … one of the Antarctic chasers

John S. Sharpe, VK2FR from Bowraville, NSW , Australia, is one of the very active Antarctic chasers. John is also active during the Antarctic Activity Weeks as VK2ANT  (WAP-232) and a proud owner of the WAP Awards including the Honor Roll, as shown on the wall of his shack!

John, who seems to have enjoyed the new look of the WAP website,  wrote: Greetings to the Antarcticians  from New South Wales.  Congratulations to you and staff for a fantastic job with the new WAP web site, it looks terrific!.   Please count me in for 15th AAW!

Many thanks John, and  welcome on board again , you will be add to the list of participants  of next AAW 2018.

 

 

 

To the Hams readers: it’s time to apply for your special call and join the next 15th AAW,  from 17 to 25 Febr. 2018.

 

Enjoy Antarctica as much as we do!

14th WAP Meeting-Mondovì Italy-16 & 17 Sept.2017

Great time this morning at the  14th WAP Meeting managed by ARI section of Mondovì in the North West side of Italy, not too far away the French border. Held in the frame of Vicoforte, a wonderful site at the foot of the Alpes, we were inside an architectural gem just aside the Vicoforte Basilica, known for having the largest elliptical cupola in the world.

(Read more at:  https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santuario_di_Vicoforte )

Clik the gif  aside to see a video

Over here we did talk about DX, Italian Castles and Antarctica.  Nearly 40  years of Antarctic passion  … 40 years of continuous work is a long time,  and undoubtedly  this is a great goal.

(on the 2nd pic aside, L to R:  the President of ARI Mondovì IW1EVQ Prof. Edo Ambrassa, IK1GPG Max, I1HYW Gianni).
This year,  on the lecture, we have officially presented WAP 2.Ø our brand new looking Web site fully dedicate to Antarctica; presentation has been done by  Gianni I1HYW and Massimo IK1GPG. Guests from almost all the Italian call areas, and Hams from some EU Countries..

 

Authorities present: Luca Robaldo,  Councilor of  Mondovi City, Dr. Marco Botto President of an  important local Company, Graziano Sartori, ARI Vice President.

 

At the end of the meeting,   the restaurant of the ancient Cistercian monastery hosted the participants

Swedish Kirvanveggen Camp – Antarctica WAP SWE-Ø1

Kirvanveggen Camp is listed on our WAP-WADA Directory and it was activated by Radio amateur (Callsign 7S8AAA) in the 90ties.

We did involved the Polarforskningssekretariatet in Sweden, to know if they could have archived some more information.
The answer from Ida Edlund, Registrator, Administrativ handläggare/Registry Clerk, Administration Officer at  Polarforskningssekretariatet/Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, P.O. Box 50003, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden (ida.edlund@polar.sewww.polar.se ) was prompt and kind: -We believe that what you are referring to may be a temporary camp from a project in the 1990’s. However there is no Swedish camp there anymore and we unfortunately do not have any more information about this-.

Swedish Antarctic Research Program (SWEDARP) was assigned the call 7S8AAA, and early in 1988 a group of 12 geology researchers spent a few months in the Antarctic. Kent SM7DSE, a University of Lund professor, was the one who made amateur radio a part of the expedition. He planned to work CW, SSB. RTTY, AMTOR, and HF Packet. QSL cards was requested to be sent via SK0MT, Club Taby Sandaramatorer.
Looks like that, Swedish Kirvanveggen Camp – Antarctica was set close to the site where  the Swedish SVEA Base, was built during the 1987/88 expedition. 

Once again Ida Edlund wrote: -After your previous mail with the picture, we started to look at the research expeditions from the late 1980’s (instead of the 1990’s) and found that Kent Larsson, of the University of Lund, was one of the participants in the 1988/89 expedition at Vestfjella and Heimefrontfjella, close to Kirvanveggen. Kent is a radio amateur and now I see that you already have that information. Kent Larsson is still affiliated with Lund University as Professor emeritus.

His contact information is available here: http://portal.research.lu.se/portal/en/persons/kent-larsson(a62088e5-db40-4c9a-a88a-c78cb023119c).html

We are now trying  to get in  touch with Prof. Kent Larsson (Ham call SM7DSE) to ask him if he did keep some pictures of the camp and eventually if he can send some personal memories of the time been down there at  Kirvanveggen Camp let’s see …

Stay tuned and follow us. WAP is always on the front line of the Antarctic matters.

Just few notes about SVEA (WAP SVE-Ø2)
Svea is located in the Scharffenbergbotnen valley in the Heimefrontfjella mountain range, about 400 km from the coast. It was built during the 1987/88 Antarctic expedition and was the first Swedish research station in Antarctica since the Snow Hill station in 1901 and Maudheim in 1949.

Svea is a satellite station to Wasa and is an excellent base for small, transient research teams performing fieldwork in the area. The station, comprising two joined fibreglass modules, is about 12 m2 and has four beds and one pantry.

The station is currently the home base for two permanent monitoring projects: continual geodetic measurement using GPS technology, run by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and a seismograph that records movements in the earth’s crust, run by the German Alfred Wegener Institute.

HFØARC Henryk Arctowski Station, WAP POL-Ø1

On the last 3 weeks Sebastian Gleich, SQ1SGB has been reported active from the  Polish Antarctic Station Henryk  Arctowski  (WAP POL-Ø1) as HFØARC on 20 & 40 mts.

HFØARC it’s a new call sign  issued in place of the old historical HFØPOL that, until March 2016, was associated with the Polish Arctowski Antarctic Base.

 

HF0POL’s  operators have been  active during various campaigns and winter expeditions. Here below  is a list of such operations with years of activity, operators callsigns and  QSL managers :

 

1978: op. LA2HFA, ex SP2BHZ, via SP2BBD (SK) (unknown status)

1986, February: via SP5EKZ or SP5PWK

1988-1989: op. SP3FRV via SP3FXG

1989-1990: op. SP5FLC via SP5FLC (SK)

1990, May: via AE5CK, ex KB6GWX

1990-1991: op. SP3FYM via SP3HLM

1991-1992: op. SP9DWT via SP9DWT

1997: op. SP3GVX via SP3FYM (hardly possible to receive a card)

1998: op. SP3BGD via SP3BGD, direct only (e-qsl & LotW), see SP3BGD at QRZ.com

2000: ops. SP3GVX & SQ5EWQ via SP3WVL, direct only. Log uploaded to e-QSL.

2002: op. SP7JKW, direct only to SP7JKW (See QRZ.com)

2004: op. SP2GOW via SP2GOW, direct only, see QRZ.com

2004, 3/4 April: op. SP5QF via SP7IWA, direct only, see SP7IWA’s website

2005: op. SP3GVX via SP3WVL, direct only

2008: op. SP3GVX via SP3WVL, direct only

2008: HF0POL/LH, op. SP3GVX via SP3WVL, direct only. Lighthouse WAP POL-LH-001

2008 – 2009 op. Janusz SP9YI (XXXIII Polish Arctic Expedition) , QSL direct only via SP9YI

 

Sebastian SQ1SGB will end his overwintering contract next October 23rd 2017,  so one more month and a half to try to put him in the Log. He’s  working  with a Delta Mini antenna sponsored by SP1BKS

QSL cards direct only to:

Sebastian Gleich,

76-039 Biesiekierz 65 

Poland

Phoenix Airfield Antarctica  (WAP USA-NEW)

Phoenix Airfield (ICAO: NZFX) 77°57’23″South, 166°46’00″East did  start to be operational last February 2017. This compacted snow runway (WAP USA-NEW) has replaced Pegasus Field  (WAP USA-42).  This runway is capable of handling wheeled aircraft, that have included to date: Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Lockheed P-3 Orion.

 

The other runways in the area are :

The Ice Runway (ICAO: NZIR (Mc Murdo Aerodrome, Airfield  Airport)

77° 51’ 14”South, 166° 28’ 08” East. Ice Runway is the principal runway for the US Antarctic Program during the summer Antarctic field season due to its proximity to McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22).

 

Ex Pegasus Field Runway (ICAO: NZPG) WAP USA-42

77°57’48″South   166°31’29″East was an airstrip in Antarctica, the southernmost of three airfields serving Mc Murdo Station. It closed due to excessive melting in the summer season caused by warmer temperatures combined with dust and dirt blown in from nearby Black Island. The last flight was on December 8, 2016

In the early 1990’s, the Pegasus Airfield was seen as the facility that would facilitate all-season wheeled aircraft operations at McMurdo. That was the promise…it was developed originally as a “blue ice” runway (meaning that it consisted of long-term ice that was neither accumulating nor ablating). That condition is more actually applied to colder land-based inland locations such as Patriot Hills, rather than a warmer location on shelf ice.

Development of Pegasus took place in the early 1990s, near a site which had formerly been used/known as Outer Williams Field. Construction started in 1991-92, the following year an initial 6,000-foot runway was used by wheeled C-130’s, and in January 1994 it was certified for use by C-141 aircraft (early history and links). Initially the runway was only used at the end of the austral summer seasons and was then allowed to accumulate snow cover which would preserve it through much of the following summer season until it was reactivated. Although Pegasus was originally conceived as part of a “blue ice runway” survey, it actually came to be more properly known as a “white ice runway” as the base was not a permanent glacier, but rather a 100-foot-thick permanent sea ice shelf. The surface came to be maintained with a perhaps 5-inch layer of processed and leveled snow.

 

Williams Field (NZWD) WAP USA-25

77°52’02″South, 167°03’24″East is the principal runway for the US Antarctic Program during the summer Antarctic field season due to its proximity to McMurdo Station. It is actually inactive but maintained as a backup for ski-equipped aircraft.. In 2008-09 the program switched from using 3 airfields; the annual Ice runway (Mc Murdo Station) in early season, Williams Field for ski aircraft, and Pegasus in late season.

Source: http://www.southpolestation.com/mcm/1617/phoenix.html

Antarctica Cruise Preparations  by KA4RXP

Plans appear to be melding together for a Maritime Mobile Expedition to the shores of Antarctica in February 2018.

John Landrigan KA4RXP wrote: Many thanks to those of you that took time to respond or comment on my upcoming  Maritime Mobile visit to McMurdo Station next February. I’ll be communicating with Heritage Expeditions and both the owner and operations manager of the M/V Enderby about antenna and  radio equipment installation aboard the ship.

 

I spoke with Bob Hardie  at Expert Linears America and was overwhelmed with his enthusiasm about the SPE line of solid state amps (www.ExpertLinears.com). He offered me the SPE 1.3 Amp for a brother in law price and I will see him at the Huntsville Ham Fest this Saturday. I am expecting to let anyone who will listen know that this amp is why they are hearing me.

Bob Hardie (pic aside) and his wife Melva, were at the Huntsville Hamfest last week and I picked up the SPE 1.3KW amplifier from them. These are really fine folks and its great to do business with them.

Also present in Huntsville was Richard Stubbs and the group from MFJ. I am going to get the MFJ 998RT tuner from them. Likewise, MFJ is the easiest place in the world to go ham radio shopping. The weight of both of these things is going to fit and fill one large suitcase but I think it will be worth it to have a signal that will make it a productive endeavor to participate in the Antarctic Awareness Week event (waponline.it) next February. A new addition to the MFJ inventory is Messi and Paoloni Coaxial Cable. I am going to use the Airborne 10 coax because it has a very rugged polyethylene covering and it is so lightweight I can carry gobs of it in the suitcase instead of a couple pairs of socks

This is getting about as exciting as the lead up to the eclipse last Monday.

73, John Landrigan KA4RXP

Buromskiy Island burial ground (HSM 9 and HSM 7) WAP RUS-NEW

Buromskiy, 66°  32’South, 93° 0’ East is a small island lying 0.6 km (0.37 mi) south of Haswell Island in the Haswell Islands group in Antarctica. About 1.2 km long and 0.9 km wide, it was discovered and mapped by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition under Douglas Mawson (1911–14). It was photographed by the Soviet expedition of 1958 and named for N.I. Buromskiy, expedition hydrographer who lost his life in the Antarctic in 1957. It lies 2.7 km north of Marbus Point, the site of Russia’s Mirny Station.

Buromskiy Island holds a Cemetery for several citizens of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic and Switzerland who died in the performance of their duties while serving as members of Soviet and Russian Antarctic expeditions. It has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 9) following a proposal by Russia to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

The site includes Ivan Khmara’s Stone, with an inscribed plaque commemorates Ivan Khmara, a driver-mechanic with the first Soviet Antarctic Expedition, who died while performing his duties on fast ice on 21 January 1956. The stone was originally erected at nearby Mabus Point, but was moved to Buromskiy Island in 1974 because of construction activity at Mirny. Ivan Khmara’s Stone has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 7) following a proposal by Russia to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.

 

The Haswell Islands are a group of rocky coastal islands lying off Marbus Point, Antarctica, and extending about 3 kilometres (1.5 nmi) seaward. Douglas Mawson did apply the name “Rookery Islands” because of a large emperor penguin rookery on Haswell Island, the largest and seaward island in the group. In 1955 the Antarctic Names Committee of Australia proposed that the name Haswell be extended to the entire Group. Read more at: http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Religion_in_Antarctica

Buromskiy Island burial ground (HSM 9 and HSM 7)

66° 32’South, 93° 0’ East , North of Marbus Point, Haswell Islands will be add to WAP-WADA Directory as WAP RUS-NEW. As soon as some Hams, maybe from Mirny Base will operate from there, a reference number will be given.

India 71st Independence Day celebration in Antarctica

India celebrates its 71st Independence Day with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisting the tricolour from Red Fort. A huge Indian national flag has brought on a bridge across river Sabarmati to celebrate Independence Day in Ahmadabad, but what do they do in Antarctica?

Bharati Station is the last Indian research Base built by India in Antarctica. Located at 69° 24’ 28” South, 76° 11’ 14” East, Bharati Station is one of the most modern Scientific Base in the Icy Continent. Actually a Radioamateur VU3LPL Rajesh Dabral is overwintering at Bharati Base, acting as Communication Officer.

The arrival of the nieighboring Russian and Chinese station members and the friendship among the three stations reveals that Antarctica is a place for peace and friendship. I invite everyone of you to join us in the celebration.

Full coverage of celebration of 71st Indian Independence Day at Bharati Research Station , Antarctica on 15, august 2017 is here, enjoy the view.
WAP Staff, wish a very Happy Indipendence day to our Indian friends in Antarctica.

RESCUE IN ANTARCTICA

In an unprecedented operation, the Argentinean Armed Forces planned a medical evacuation of the second officer, electrician Héctor Bulacio, from the Orcadas Base to the hospital in Ushuaia. The 38-year-old man was in danger if thye did not move him; he had suffered fractures in his legs. A Rescue by sea was impossible because in winter time the Base is surrounded by 110 kilometers of ice field.

After a videoconference with the naval hospital of Buenos Aires, his air evacuation was decided.

A C130 Hercules aircraft took off from Río Gallegos, overflew  Orcadas Base and  by parachutes release medical supplies while a glaceologist of the Naval Hydrography Service was studying  the best surface in which personnel could improvise an emergency landing strip for a Twin Otter. From Marambio Base then took off the Twin Otter  that flew 720 kilometers from Marambio to Orcadas Base and,  in an unprecedented event, did land on top of a glacier on an improvised runway.

The Twin Otter transferred the non-commissioned officer to Marambio and from there the Hercules took him to Tierra del Fuego. The joint work and successful flights of the Twin Otter and the Hercules despite the climatic difficulties at this time of year, allowed the Sub-official Bulacio to be conscious and stabilized in the Hospital of Ushuaia where he is  “out of danger”.

More at: https://www.eldiariodelfindelmundo.com/noticias/2017/07/31/73203-increible-hazana-aerea-para-salvarle-la-vida-a-un-militar-herido-en-la-base-orcadas-de-la-antartida

More pics are available at the same link

Brief History of the Antarctic, seen from the Ham Radio Communication’s world

Written by Bhagwati Prasad Semwal VU3BPZ-8T2BH

Antarctic Epic did start long ago with no way to communicate from Antarctica to the rest of the world, then Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission and for his development of radio telegraph system, show the world the power of Radio transmission.

Later one after WW1 & WW2 the Nations signed the Antarctic Treaty and the Antarctic Adventure begun. From that time, in the 50thies, the Radio was the unique way to be in touch from the newly built Antarctic Research Stations and therest of the world.

From that time,  being a licensed Radio Amateur was a privilege of few technicians involved in the  Antarctic Campaigns and being Radio Amateur, they were mostly communication officers. After the commercial duties and communication with their country’s Antarctic Departments, they had time to use the Base Equipments to talk to the family using other Ham fellows with Phone Patch to talk to their families, and to other Ham radio men, all over the world.

A new era did start: DX with Antarctica and yes,  a contact using a simple Radio transceiver  from Antarctica to the rest of the world was,  and is still amazing. The interest did grow  fast and became a fever, a real excitement a real passion.

At that time every Antarctic Base, every Refuge, every remote camp was equipped with  Transceiver for HF communications, antenna, generator or other power supply sources.

Most of the Bases did install big towers and rotary antenna system, using amplifiers to allow more chance to send robust signals on the air. On the other side, the worldwide Ham community, hunting contacts with Antarctica, did the same; all involved in a kind of passion for the so called  very long distance call, known as DX.

QSL confirmation for a contact with an Antarctic Station was, and still is something to exhibit. On the meantime the first websites dedicated to the Antarctic Chasers did start to be online, as for example WAP-Worldwide Antarctic Program www.waponline.it since 1979. On it several features  such as the most accurate Dbase (WAP-WADA) of Antarctic Stations, Remote Camps, Refuges, Huts and permanent settlements sorted by Country, Lat & Long and exact location.

Another huge Dbase (WAP-WACA) has been built; it  lists over 4500 different callsigns in use or used in the past in Antarctica, Sub & Peri Antarctic areas, all available for free on line.

Time goes fast and we did enter quickly in the era of Internet. Very few young  boys are still excited or fascinated by Ham radio, even if in Antarctica HF & VHF communications are still important and very much used to keep and establish contacts with remote field camps, with the researchers working outside, and with the helicopters or aircrafts to the main Stations or Bases.

Radio is probably considered by the young generation somewhat obsolete, something surpassed, something out of fashion … nothing could be more wrong! Radio remains a safe option in case of emergency, when internet black out, when other communication devises may fail, the radio remains, it does not need repeaters, as the radio waves propagate in space!

HF transmissions are therefore subjected to the Propagation condition which is influenced by the solar activity and in particular periods of the year,  operators must know the MUF (Maximum Usable Frequency) and check Propagation Prediction tables in order to know when and in which direction looking for to make some possible contacts

Bhagwati Prasad Semwal is a good experienced Ham Radio Operator, licensed as VU3BPZ, and operating from Antarctica since 2001. Bagwati Prasad (Ex-20,24,29th, Maitri & 31th,Bharati, WOT )has been active from several Antarctic sites as VU3BPZ/P, VU3BPZ/RI1, AT1ØBP, VU3BPZ/MM and actually he is part of the 35th ISEA (2015-2016) based at  Bharati Station (69°S, 076°E), Larsemann Hills, Antarctica where he operates as 8T2BH.

Worldwide Ham Radio Community is grateful to the Indian Antarctic Dept. for putting licensed Ham radio operators among the Teams overwintering in Antarctica; India did a real great job with the Hams involved in Antarctica up to now; a mention has to be given to:

ATØA operating from Daskshin Gangotry Base in the 8Øties, AT3D, VU3HKQ, VU2AXA, VU2JBK, VU3RAY, VU2DMT who have been active from Maitri Base, Indian Bay and Bharati Stations giving a huge number of Antarctic chasers worldwide, a chance  to log all the 3 main  Indian Scientific Stations in their log with different callsigns.

Actually propagation is not in a good shape; solar flux, sunspot and A index are at a low level, but taking care of the rare openings on different bands, is possible to establish good contacts with a range of 10-15.000 km.

What is actually missed in the Indian Bases is a rotating Log periodic beam antenna, able to cover all HF bands in case of internet black out or emergency, a liner amplifier in order to ensure a robust signal in case of lack of propagation.

In addition another tool is available for Hams,  and that is the VOACAP Prediction available online at:

http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html .

This web site gives an idea to a Radio operator  which band of the HF Band plan is the best one to be used  and percentage of chances to make good contacts. Actually conditions are very low and infact just the bands  from 18 to 24 MHz offer 40% of possibility to make contacts.

During the 35th Indian Antarctic Scientific Expedition (2015-2016) we did a lot of propagation testing on different bands from 10 mts through 40 mts SSB and we noticed a very fast changing conditions and so far only about 100 QSOs have been made as 8T2BH from Bharati Station, even if with 15 different Countries. Nothing to compare with 2011-2012’s season when the QSOs made were over 1000, or from Maitri Station where conditions were so much favorable.

Now  it could be propagation will change, no more Auroras or magnetic storms which are causing terrific noise on the band. I hope to be able to keep uphold the Indian pride and using the privilege to be here in Antarctica for the 5th time  as Ham Radio and Communication Officer to fulfill the many requests for QSOs by Radio amateurs operators around the world.

Antarctica: Stronger Ocean circulation

Notorious Ocean current is far stronger than previously thought

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is the only ocean current to circle the planet and the largest wind-driven current on Earth. It’s also 30% more powerful than scientists realized.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters

An ocean circulation model shows the Antarctic Circumpolar Current swirling around Antarctica, with slow-moving water in blue and warmer colors indicating faster speeds (red represents speeds above 1 mile per hour). But how much water is really flowing through the current?
Recent fieldwork provides unexpected results.

Credit: M. Mazloff, MIT; Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

 

More at: https://eos.org/research-spotlights/notorious-ocean-current-is-far-stronger-than-previously-thought

Call for journalists to follow next Antarctic campaign

PNRA (Italian National Research Program in Antarctica) via CNR and ENEA, is managing  the Italian Bases in Antarctica. There is a  call for journalists to participate the XXXIII Italian Expedition in Antarctica.

The XXXIII Italian Expedition, will take place from October 2017 through  February 2018. PNRA offers hospitality at the Italian Bases to a journalist whose reports  might  have extensive media coverage related to the Italian scientific research activities in Antarctica. The selected journalist will be engaged in November 2017, for a period of approximately 15 days, travels to/from Italy included.

Participation is subject to availability confirmation by the PNRA.

More at:  http://www.enea.it/it/Stampa/news/call-per-giornalisti-al-seguito-dei-ricercatori-in-antartide/

Argentine Icebreaker Irizar readying for Antarctica sailing

Argentina’s Navy icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar is back on sea and next September will be ready to sail to Antarctica following almost ten years of recovery and refurbishing after she caught fire in 2007 when returning from Antarctica and was considered almost a wreck given the magnitude of the damages experienced.

According to Argentine defense reports the “new” Irizar has state of the art technology, has doubled its Antarctic Gas Oil (fuel) capacity and has increased six fold the area dedicated to labs and other scientific activities, as well as the cabins and beds for research staff.

The pre-accident Irizar was mainly involved in logistics and support for the Antarctic bases and stations, but the refurbished version is geared to scientific research. Likewise the icebreaker will be able to access the most austral of Argentine bases, Belgrano II, and the Argentine navy can again operate with helicopters.

All these years Argentina contracted mostly Russian icebreakers and helicopters to service and supply its bases.

More at:  http://www.marambio.aq/infoprensa/julio2017.html   

40th ATCM – Beijing, China

The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) is the annual meeting for all parties of the Antarctic Treaty to discuss pressing Antarctic issues. Only consultative parties – parties that have demonstrated their interest in Antarctica by ‘conducting substantial research activity there’ – are allowed to take part in decision-making processes. This is the first time that China hosts the ATCM, which attracted a lot of attention both within and outside China.

Picture show Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli addresses the opening ceremony of the 40th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in Beijing, capital of China.

Read more at: http://blogs.adelaide.edu.au/law/2017/07/06/40th-antarctic-treaty-consultative-meeting-beijing-china/

Getting married in Antarctica

Polar field guides Julie Baum and Tom Sylvester got married in sub-zero temperatures in a two-day celebration.

The wedding guests included the couple’s 18 colleagues who live and work at the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) largest research station during the winter months.  It is the first official wedding to take place on the territory in Adelaide Island.
Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/in-a-stunning-first-couple-marries-in-antarctica-in-sub-zero-temperatures-1726174

Antarctica’s ice-free areas to increase

Climate change will cause ice-free areas on Antarctica to increase by up to a quarter by 2100, threatening the diversity of the unique terrestrial plant and animal life that exists there, according to projections from the first study examining the question in detail. If emissions of greenhouse gasses are not reduced, projected warming and changes in snowfall will cause ice-free areas – which currently make up about 1% of  Antarctica and are home to all of the continent’s terrestrial plants and animals – to increase by as much as 17,000 square kilometres.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/29/antarcticas-ice-free-areas-to-increase-by-up-to-a-quarter-by-2100-study-says

VU2VP Silent Key

 Ved Prakash Sandlas, VU2VP, destingushed Scientist & former Cheif controller R&D DRDO did  pass away on 6th July 2017. He was good promoter of Ham radio & sent Ham Radio Rigs to Antarctica.

He was Vice Presendent of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT- India), a real Senior Old Timer. He has been QSL manager for AT3D, operated by VU3DEN in 1994 from Maitri Base, Antarctica.

Our deepest condolences to his family from the whole HAM & Scientists  as well as the Antarctic community !