Tierra del Fuego (WAP ARG-23)

Hams of Radio Club Ushuaia plan to activate the six protected areas of the Tierra del Fuego Province, doing radio activity in each and every one of them. Date will be announced gradually as long as each  the small expedition is fully organized. The tentative calendar includes January, February and March 2019.
These protected areas are under the supervision of the Government of the Province.  TNX Miguel Angel Lavalle LU1XU (ex LU1XPK)

To WAP ARG-23 belongs Puerto Almanza (54°52’12″South   67°33’51″West),  a town in the Ushuaia department,  of the province of Tierra del Fuego. In this site, there is a monitoring and control post for maritime traffic of the Argentine Navy.  Same reference is for  Base Naval Buen Suceso (LU1XY/X) and Isla Redonda on the Beagle chanel.

Buen Suceso is a small bay located on Peninsula Miter on Le Maire Strait,  in front of  Isla de los Estados (Staten Island) in the department of Ushuaia, on the east coast of the Great Island of Tierra del Fuego.  In the place, since the mid-88 there is a Navy Base with heliport;  it’s an excellent support since it has powerful radio equipment which provide maritime traffic control, thus ensuring efficient communication with Ushuaia. The Buen Suceso surveillance post, is covered by an officer and five non-commissioned officers who are periodically renewed. They have the mission to control  of maritime traffic in the area of influence and provide assistance to vessels sailing through the Strait of Le Maire.

 

FD83 -South Pole Camp, WAP MNB-Ø9 a “New Entry”

FD83 stands for  Fuel Depot 83; the site is located at  83°00’ South, 11°38’ East.  FD83-South Pole camp is used as a stopping point, and refueling location by the White Desert during the 2018-2019 season.

We did suppose Oleg Sakharov RI1ANX could have been there and today, thanks to Felix DL5XL/DP1OL who have spoken with Oleg,  we got a confirmation from him directly, so that a  NEW WAP reference  WAP MNB-Ø9 has been issued to this Antarctic site.

Here, some news about it:  The Fuel Depot 83 location site (83°00’S 11°38’E), henceforth referred to as FD83, has been used as fuel storage depot and logistical base facility jointly by the Antarctic Logistic Centre International (ALCI) and The Antarctic Company (TAC) since 2010. The site is used during the austral summer, between November and January as a refuelling and rest stop location for onwards visits to the South Pole. It is used by TAC for refuelling in order to carry out visits on behalf of White Desert as well as other organisations.

Each year a group of “Arctic Trucks employees” participate in different projects throughout Antarctica and this Antarctica summer, seven members of the team have been working there on three different projects, one of which is the New site called Fuel depot on FD83 for  aircraft on their way to the South Pole.

The mission start from Novo Runway (WAP MNB-Ø6) with a traverse of 1700 kilometers journey to FD83. The journey was 90 hours, with 69 hours of driving! Since then the group has stayed there, preparing the landing strip and the fuel depot, servicing aircraft that have stopped there on their way to the South Pole. The Team is responsible for making sure the landing strip is safe, receive oil barrels that were dropped in by parachute and make the depot ready for the servicing of the aircraft. For a whole month the team stayed in this isolated place, in tents, with the temperature at around minus 40 degrees Celsius! On this 2018-2019 recent occasion, a group of Russians (RI1ANX is among them), who are still there,  did join the traverse that reached the site.

Now Oleg Sakharov RI1ANX is now on the way back  and we did work him again in the evening of Jan 2, 2019 at 23:25 UTC

Read also: https://arctictrucksnewsfeed.com/2017/12/19/project-1-fuel-depot-on-fd83/
TNX Oleg RI1ANX & Felix DL5XL/DP1POL

RSV Nuyina, Australia’s new icebreaker

Australia’s new Antarctic Icebreaker and resupply ship  RSV Nuyina, is due to arrive in Hobart in 2020. It will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of our Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research,  to replace the Aurora Australis.

Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker RSV Nuyina is being constructed in Damen Shipyards, Romania. Construction commenced in late May 2017, with a steel cutting ceremony, while a keel laying ceremony in August saw the first building-block of the ship consolidated in the drydock. Construction is expected to be completed at the end of 2019. The Australian Antarctic icebreaker RSV Nuyina will make its maiden voyage to Antarctica in 2020–21.

Read more about the ship at: http://www.antarctica.gov.au/icebreaker/updates

Thanks and credit: Australian Government, Department of Environment and Energy, Australian Antarctic Division

Happy New Year

To the researchers and personnel actually involved in Antarctica, to the scientific Organizations and Managers to whom we request to continue the research programs as a WW goal, to the Antarctic enthusiasts, to the students, to the Hams on the Icy Continent trying to set antennas and Radio to give us the emotion of a real DX, to our followers all over the world,  WAP Staff wish Happy New Year 2019!

Antarctica news from the Russians

Thanks to Eugene RZ3EC, to Alexei RN1ON and to Alexander RW3RN, here below are some information about the now a day activity by  Russian Hams in Antarctica:

RI1ANM (op: Alex, RX3ABI). QTH: Vostok Sation WAP RUS-13. QSL via home call.

RI1ANV (op: Aleksey, RD1AV). QTH: Vostok Station WAP RUS-13. QSL via RN1ON

RI1ANX  (op: Oleg, UA1PBA/ZS1ANF-pic aside). Now in logistic campaign (over 83° South), WAP RUS-NEW.  QSL via RK1PWA.

RI1ANW (op: Serge, R3IW ex.RW3IW) 63rd RAE at  Novolazarevskaya Base WAP RUS-Ø9. QSL via RN1ON.

 

As regard to RI1ANX, it’s about Oleg Sakharov (see pics on this page together with VU3BPZ at Maitri Station 2012), we are talking about an Antarctic veteran ZS1ANF/UA1PBA ex.RI1ANR, RI1ANF etc.who gave us several new ones!  RI1ANX it is new call-sign of Oleg who is actually among a logistics convoy in southern Antarctica and for time to time active on CW 30 & 40 mts bands. His last coordinates/Grid locator KA06: Lat. -83.40448, Long. 20.58928.

 

 

TNX RZ3EC, RN1ON, RW3RN

Colin O’Brady Completes Crossing of Antarctica

The final miles of a nearly two-month race across Antarctica, a lonely effort marked by long days, short nights and stunning endurance, ended Wednesday with a sprint to the finish.

In what could go down as one of the great feats in polar history, the American Colin O’Brady, 33, covered the final 77.54 miles of the 921-mile journey across Antarctica in one final sleepless, 32-hour burst, becoming the first person ever to traverse Antarctica from coast to coast solo, unsupported and unaided by wind.

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/sports/antarctica-race-colin-obrady.html

Colin O’Brady finishes solo Antarctic trek

DP1POL/P, Kohnen Station (WAP DEU-11), Antarctica

Felix Riess, DL5XL, is actually signing DP1POL/P from Kohnen Station (WAP DEU-11), Antarctica. The time of Felix stay at Kohnen is not known. QSL via DL1ZBO

 

Kohnen (75° South, 04° East) is a German summer polar research station in the Antarctic; it is named after the geophysicist Heinz Kohnen (1938–1997), who was for a long time the head of logistics at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

The station can accommodate up to 20 researchers at a time, and the personnel constantly change with each new research project.

The scientists work and live in the eleven containers, each of which rests atop steel struts above the surface of the ice.

Some of these containers were salvaged from the Filchner Station, which had to be dug out of the ice in 1999. Some contain living quarters, a kitchen and mess hall, while others are home to the radio station, a snow-melting machine for drinking water, and the station’s power supply (100 kW).

To keep Kohnen Station running smoothly, convoys of up to six caterpillar-track vehicles – called Traverses – from the Neumayer-Station III (WAP DEU-Ø2)  pay regular 3 resupply visits.

Merry Christmas from Antarctica

Here below some Christmas Wishes sent from researcher and personnel actually in Antarctica.

We are so grateful to all of those people, Nations and Organizations who are spending their time away from home and families, studying the Antarctic life and its secrets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To them all, Very Merry Christmas

 

Years ago, we have thought about an International Antarctic Program,  not belonging to a person, to a Group of people, nor to a Society or a Club. What we were looking for, was something belonging to the Radio Amateurs and friends, to studends and  chasers who enjoy dealing with the 6th Continent, with Antarctica , well, we succeded!  

We  are pleased to share with you all, our enthusiasm and passion, stay with us and enjoy WAP … Worldwide Antarctic Web site since 1979!

Russia joins 11th Belarusian Antarctic expedition

Belarusian Antarctic Station  67° 39’ 30” South, 46° 09’ 12” East,  Mount Vechernyaya,  Enderby Land,  East Antarctica.(WAP BLR-NEW)

The Republic of Belarus joined the Antarctic Treaty in 2006 and, in that same year, approved the national program for Polar research which is called “Monitoring of Earth’s Polar areas and ensuring activity of the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions for 2007­­-­2010 and for the period until 2015”. Soon after, in 2008, it ratified the Environmental Protocol.

In 2015, the national Antarctic program of the Republic of Belarus was accepted as the 30th Member of COMNAP. From December 2015 through January 2016, the first portion of the national research station, a three-section module for control, communication and navigation, was assembled in Antarctica.                 Watch a video here

Belarus and Russia are building strategic partnership in Antarctica:  Belarusian and Russian polar explorers will carry out a joint research project during the 11th Belarusian Antarctic Expedition in 2018-2019, Alexander Klepikov, head of the Russian Antarctic expedition, Deputy Director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said at a meeting with senior officials of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) on last 8 August, BelTA learned from the NASB press service.

Let’s hope that,  at the Belarus Base someone can operate HF on the Ham bands to give Radioamateurs  all over the world, a chance to work a New Base down in Antarctica!

QSLs … what a passion!

Thanks to  Charles R. Wilmott, MØOXO for his excellent QSL service.
Cards for two special events to commemorate the Macquarie & Heard’s  7Øth Anniversary  have been received and did enter in the WAP showcase

VI7ØHI (WAP-288) is a Special Callsign issued to Commemorate the first ANARE Expedition to Heard Island in December 1947.

 

VI7ØMI (WAP-293) 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.

Thanks the VK operators for putting both calls on the air, thanks MØOXO for his QSL service and thanks the Antarctic chasers all over the world for following the history of the Icy Continent … through the QSLs!

VKØAI Macquarie Station (WAP AUS-Ø8)

Just to remind the chasers that   Norbert (VK5MQ) is  still active as VKØAI from Macquarie Island and expect to be there till March 2019; follow the spotson the Cluster. .He has internet access, and is an avid user of both FT8 & eQSL.cc, so if you make a contact expect it to be confirmed via eQSL within minutes!

QSL via VK5MQ, eQSL, LOTW.
Direct QSL to:
Ne Trupp, Po Box 1359, Mount Gambier, Sa, 5290, Australia.

See the Macquarie webcam at: http://www.antarctica.gov.au/webcams/macquarie-island

AO1WAP joining the 16th Antarctic Activity Week

11 years ago, the 1st participation to the Antarctic Activity Week by the  EA1CS’s Spanish Team, was one of the important presence, to promote Worldwide attention to the Icy Continent as a land of science and peace, to its wildlife, to the thousands of  studies that involve the entire worldwide community.  On the occasion of that  first EA’s AAW (11 years ago), the group will be “On the Air” again signing AO1WAP (WAP-137), from February 16 to 24, 2019.

The authorization has been received and the operators will be:
Juanjo EA1WX, Fernando EA1WK,  Javi EC1KV, Dani EB1LA, Carri  EA1CUB, Juan Carlos EA1AUM, Luis EA1CS.

QRV from 6 to 160mts ( +WARC ) CW, SSSB RTTY, PSK and sporadically FT8.

TNX EA1CS

Have a look at AO1WAP web site https://ao1wap.weebly.com/  and enjoy the coming AAW activity

Antarctica: Two technicians die at U.S. research station

Very sad news coming from Antarctica.
Two technicians performing maintenance at a U.S. research station died on Wednesday while working on a building that houses a generator for a nearby radio transmitter, the National Science Foundation (NSF) said.

The pair, both employed as subcontractors at the NSF-managed McMurdo Station in Antarctica, were found unconscious on the floor of the building after a helicopter pilot flying over the area saw what appeared to be smoke coming from the structure and landed to investigate.

One of the technicians was pronounced dead by medical personnel called to the scene. The other was pronounced dead a short time after being flown to the McMurdo medical clinic, the NSF said in a statement.

WAP express sincere sympathy to the families; our hearts are saddened by the loss; our thoughts and prayers are with you.

More at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-antarctic-casualties/two-technicians-die-at-u-s-research-station-in-antarctica-idUSKBN1OC02G

RI1ANV, new callsign for Vostok Station (WAP RUS-13)

Francois F8DVD, is forwarding some info, just received from RN1ON Alexei.

RI1ANC – Vostok (WAP RUS-13):  Alexei Turkeev, RD1AV (Season Team leader),  just arrived at Vostok Base for the new campaign, is now active as RI1ANC during his spare time

On December 24,  the RI1ANC license will end, a new license is coming to be registred. The new call-sign will be  RI1ANV. Alex will be at the station until February 2019. QSL via RN1ON

 

RI1ANM (Alexander Solodov, RX3ABI) was at Vostok the whole 2018 as well; he  was not very active and his overwintering at Vostok Sation ends soon.

SA Agulhas II departs for Antarctica

South Africa’s Polar research vessel the SA Agulhas II departs for Antarctica on Friday. Fifty-eight scientists are on board and will spend 14 months on the icy continent; the Weddell Sea Expedition will conduct marine and glaciological research.

Environmental Affairs spokesperson Zolile Nqayi explains: “As part of the Antarctica Week which started on Monday until today, the SA Agulhas II departed to Antarctica.
There are a number of scientists who will be spending 14 months at our base in Antarctica where they’ll do research a number of areas needed for weather and environmental change.”

Reed more at: https://ewn.co.za/2018/12/07/sa-agulhas-ii-departs-for-antarctica

We remind the readers that any Polar Reseasrch vessels as well as Icebreakers and Polar Supply ships worked as M/M sailing the Antarctic& Sub Antarctic  waters will qualify for the WAP Antarctic Awards.

No information about a presence of Ham radio operators on board of SA Aghulas II on this Antarctic voyage.

21 Sub Antarctic Islands

Across the bottom of the globe, between the continents and Antarctica, there are quite a few islands – all interesting and special places. -Many thanks to the many photographers who took these pictures. We are all grateful for your enterprise and skill– wrote  John Paix  when he put the video online last  2 oct. 2016. TNX John Paix

Most of the islands shown on the video are listed in WAP WADA Directory; Among all of those shown, there some such as Tristan da Cunha, that are not included (see below).
On Gough Island (WAP ZAF-Ø5),  about 400 km (250 mi) south-east of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago  there is a Scientific Research base and a Weather Station which the South African National Antarctic Programme has maintained, with British permission, continually on the island since 1956.

Amsterdam and  St. Paul islands belongs to the French TAAF, therefore
they have been incorporated  on the Directory’s list.

Nightingale Islands don’t really count as subantarctic; they  are a group of three islands in the South Atlantic, part of the Tristan da Cunha territory: they consist of Nightingale Island, Middle Islands and Stoltenhoff Island.

Inaccessible Island is an extint volcano, last active six million years ago, with Cairn Peak reaching 449 m (1,473 ft). The island is 12.65 km2 (4.88 sq mi) in area, rising out of the South Atlantic 45 km (28 mi) south-west of Tristan da Cunha.

43rd Polish Antarctic Expedition

Researchers and personnel of Polish Arctowski Station  (WAP POL-Ø1) in Antarctica  did celebrate the Antarctica Day on last Dec. 1st .

The annual celebration was launched in 2010 to commemorate the signature of the Antarctic Treaty on December 1st, 1959, which defines the legal and political status of Antarctica. We are celebrating the peaceful aims of the treaty and its contribution to the independence of scientific research. We hope that educational events taking place  around the world will contribute to spreading the knowledge about the treaty and increase awareness of the needs to protect the vulnerable  Antarctic environment.

Antarctica Day is celebrated internationally on 1 December, marking the day of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959 when 12 Nations signed the Antarctic Treaty agreeing to 14 commands, including that Antarctica will be used for peaceful purposes only.  59 years ago, Antarctica became a continent dedicated to peace and scientific international collaboration. Today, Antarctica is seen as “a natural reserve, devoted to peace and Science”.

New batch of QSL going to be printed by F5PFP

Mehdi, F5PFP wrote: As regards VP8DLM , FT5YK , CE9XX  (2011 Antarctic Expedition) ,  the  QSL cards have been almost exhausted. It is an occasion to print new cards with a new design for a final and limited edition , anyone interested?

Mehdi is trying to find an overview of Port Circoncision (WAP FRA-Ø8) during its occupation in 1908-1909
http://french-polar-team.fr/FT5Y-P_Port_Circoncision_Petermann_Island.php
and something similar for  CE9XX Base Cerda (WAP CHL-Ø4)
http://french-polar-team.fr/CE9_Presidente_Aguirre_Cerda_Station_Deception_Island.php

TNX F5PFP

About Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA)

ISEA is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program conducted every year by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, started in 1981. It has gained global acceptance after India signed Antarctic Treaty.

Subsequently, India had constructed Dakshin Gangotri Antarctic research Base (WAP IND-Ø1) in 1983. It was superseded by the Maitri Base (WAP IND-Ø3) from 1990,

The newest base Bharati (WAP IND-Ø4), is the last one  of  the  India Research Programs  in Antarctica; The Larsemann Hills component of XXX Indian Antarctic Expedition, season 2010-11 led by Mr. Rajesh Asthana, a geologist from Geological Survey of India, reached 160m close to the landing site of Bharti Promontory.
Ice Breaker, I/B Vladimir Ignatyuck and the main expedition vessel were deployed during that season; on the year 2011-12 the Station has been completed and commissioned to carry out scientific activities involving various disciplines like, Earth Science, Biological Science, Atmospheric Science, Engineering and Medicine.

 

The first Ham Radio contact with Bharati Station was made on 27 Aug. 2012 and the operator was Bhagwati Prasad signing VU3BPZ/P

On Nov 27, 2018, the Launching ceremony of XXXVIII Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) and Briefing lectures to the Fourth Batch of members has been held at Seminar Hall, NCPOR. Dr Rajesh Asthana, Deputy Director General, GSI and Veteran Antarctican was guest speaker together with Dr. M. Ravichandran, Director NCPOR; Shri M. Javed Beg and Dr. Thamban Meloth, Dr. K.P. Krishnan, Dr. Mahesh B.S. along with the members of fourth batch of expeditionners ready to head down South!

Mr. P Elango  (pic to the right) is the  38th ISEA Leader at Bharati Station WAP IND-Ø4), Antarctica, but as far as we know, no Ham radio operators are among the personnel down there!

Antarctic Philately by Abhay Mishra

A great Antarctic Philatelic exhibition named “Icy Continent & Indian Expeditions ‘ Exploring Antarctica” curated by Abhay Mishra at Valley of Words , International Literature & Art Festival, Dehra Dun. Venue – Hotel Madhuban, Blue Star Gallery (India), has just ended on last 25th Nov 2018.

Abhai Mishra is an “amateur philatelist” since 25 years. He is an ardent photographer and has designed over fifty special covers and cancellations for Department of Post. He is actively involved in spreading philately among children at grass-root level through interactive workshops.

As a philatelist he specializes in the area of Indian Antarctica and Uttarakhand. He has authored a book titled “Uttarakhand – A philatelic Journey”, published by Department of Post, Uttarakhand Circle. He has been to Antarctica with the XXI Indian Scientific Expedition as a communication officer. Professionally he is a scientist with Defence Research and Development Organization. (Pic aside shows  Abhay Mishra & Dr. G.S Shirohi, Ph.D  Delhi University)

India’s involvement with Antarctic Expeditions, dates back to circa 1911.

The book (Author Abhay Mishra) traces the history of  Indian  Antarctic Expeditions through mails and letters carried with the expedition. It documents the Indian Antarctic postal history through cancellations, cachets, labels, envelopes, letter heads, QSL cards, postcards, used during the expedition.

This “India Antarctic Expedition” is more than a nice book , it’s a great Philatelist’s Guide   that tells by wonderful pictures and philatelic covers & stamps, the history of Indian expeditions in Antarctica since the beginning, date cancellers used in Indian Antarctic Post Offices and lots more… it could be a fantastic gift for Christmas !

 

The book is distributed  by  www.stampsofindia.com  and/or can be ordered directly through orders@stampsofindia.com.

Hunter Burch, KK4AOS @ Palmer Station Antarctica

Originally built by U.S. Navy Seabees in 1967, Palmer Station  (WAP USA-23) is located at 64°46′ S, 64°03′ W on Anvers Island, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula; it is named for Nathaniel B. Palmer, a Connecticut sealer who, on 17 November 1820, during an exploratory voyage ranging southward from the South Shetland Islands, may have been the first person to see Antarctica. (British and Russian ships were in the area at about the same time.)

Palmer Station is situated off the Antarctica Peninsula, on a protected harbor on the southwestern coast of the Anvers Island, and is the only U.S. Antarctic station north of the Antarctic Circle. The temperature is mild, with monthly averages ranging from minus 10°C in July and August to 2°C in January and February. The annual mean is minus 3°C. The extreme range is minus 31°C to 9°C. It has rained every month at Palmer.

The station, built on solid rock, consists of two major buildings and three small ones, plus two large fuel tanks, a helicopter pad, and a dock. Construction was completed in 1968, replacing a prefabricated wood structure (“Old Palmer,” established in 1965) two kilometers away across Arthur Harbor. Old Palmer has been disassembled and removed from Antarctica. Somewhat over 40 people can occupy Palmer in the summer. Wintering population is about 10, although Palmer does not have a long period of winter isolation as do McMurdo and South Pole.

TNX  NSF. https://www.nsf.gov/geo/opp/support/palmerst.jsp

More also at: http://www.palmerstation.com/

Watch a nice video at: https://youtu.be/857x9e5PPOU 
Actually , Hunter Burch , KK4AOS is operating from there as KC4AAC (WAP USA-23) and is sporadically active. Let’s hope to get more info and set up skeds from Europe as well.
TNX Dr. Bill Spindler for his help to set contacts with KK4AOS/KC4AAC Let’s see if we’ll succeded!

McMurdo Station modernization plans

A rendering of the proposed redevelopment and consolidation of buildings at McMurdo Station. This conceptual drawing is subject to revision prior to final design. (Image Credit:  Leidos)

A long-range plan to modernize McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22), NSF’s logistics hub in Antarctica, to better support cutting-edge science in the coming decades cleared a major hurdle in the last week of October when a Final Design Review (FDR) of what is envisioned as a 10-year undertaking was conducted.

The successful outcome for the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernization for Science (AIMS) project puts NSF’s Office of Polar Programs a significant step closer to being able to redevelop McMurdo into an energy and operationally efficient platform from which to launch world-class Antarctic science.

Over the space of three days, an independent, comprehensive review was carried out of not only the progress of the project, but also the recipient’s capability and capacity to successfully, safely, and professionally deliver the AIMS-approved project scope within funding limits, and within an established schedule.

Now that the review is complete, the FDR Panel report, with its recommendations and OPP’s responses will make its way to the next stage: a formal review by NSF’s Facilities Readiness Panel.

Even though the panel has determined the project is indeed ready to proceed to construction, further milestones must still be met, including OPP’s formal presentations to NSF’s Facilities Readiness Panel, as well as to the Director’s Review Board, before the project is formally presented to the National Science Board in Feb 2019.

If the NSB approves the project, it will make a recommendation to the Director’s designee for final authorization for the modification the Leidos contract to include AIMS.

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

 

Law Dome Drilling Camp, WAP AUS-NEW

Law Dome was roughly mapped by the United States Feological Survey from aerial photographs taken by U.S. Navy (Operation Highjump) in the year 1946–47, and has been the subject of intensive glaciological and geophysical surveys by Australia National Antarctic Research Expedition between 1962 and 1965. It was named by the “Antarctic Names Committee of Australia” for Phillip Law, Director of the Australian Antarctic Division from 1949 to 1966.

Law Dome is a small ice sheet attached to the edge of the main East Antarctic ice sheet with an independent ice flow. The bedrock of Law Dome is an underground island separated from the bedrock of East Antarctica by a deep trench. 

In this area, there is a large drilling Camp subjected of intensive glaciological and geophysical surveys undertaken by Australia since 1962, when the presence and nature of Law Dome was revealed.

Location of Law Dome, East Antarctica, consists in two separate drilling sites: the AWS at 66°44′ South, 112°45′ East,  and DSS at 66°46′ South, 112°48′ East.

Read more at: http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/history/stations/casey/what-is-s2

 

If and when some of the researchers,  working down there will show up on the air, transmitting on the HF bands,  a proper WAP reference will be given.

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.

A New Antarctic Award: WABA-FT8

In recognition of international two-way FT8 amateur radio communication, the FT8 Digital Mode Club (FT8-DMC) issues Worked Antarctic Bases Award certificates to amateur radio stations worldwide. Qualification for the FT8 WABA award is based on an examination by the FT8 WABA Award Manager, from QSOs that the applicant has made with minimum 3 different amateur radio stations from Antarctica . All contacts must be made from the same country. Band endorsements for 6, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40, 80 and 160m available.

Award Manager is Fawaz Sulaibeekh A92AA (pic below),

Ref: https://www.ft8dmc.eu/media/5aead2d90fad8.pdf

This brand new WABA-FT8 will be add to the Worldwide Antarctic Awards page at:
http://www.waponline.it/worldwide-antarctic-awards/ 

The FT8 Digital Mode Club (FT8-DMC) was founded 12.July 2017 by Jo Engelbrecht, OE4VIE and Hannes Grünsteidl, OE1SGU (OE3SGU) after recognizing a need for a club for FT8 users who would help newcomers and less-experienced operators to learn and improve about this fantastic mode.

Everyone with a love of FT8 is welcome to join our club. All FT8DMC members are eligible to participate in various Club’s activities and award programs.

More at: https://www.ft8dmc.eu/about

RI1ANM actually operating at Vostok Station

Thanks Alexei Kuz’menko RN1ON who did inform WAP about RI1ANM:

Alexander, RX0QM, ex.RI59ANT & RI1ANB (2017) is actually operating from Vostok Station (WAP RUS-13), in Antarctica. He is not very active but, being there till January 2019, there are good chances to work him.

QSL, if no variations from the previous activities, should go through EW4DX

TNX  Alexei, RN1ON

 

Founded by the Soviet Union on Dec. 16, 1957, the station lies at 78°27’50” South, 106°50’15” East at an altitude of 11,444 feet,  about 800 miles East of the South Pole and to this day, it remains one of Russia’s major base stations, with people living there year-round.

Vostok Station (WAP RUS-13) is a Russian research outpost; it is one of the most inaccessible and inhospitable places on Earth. Some 25 scientists live there in the summer, where temperatures get up to a relatively pleasant minus 25 degrees F.

Only 13 or so remain there through the long winter, when the mercury plunges to minus 85 degrees F. (We mean that metaphorically, because mercury actually freezes solid at around 40 below zero.) The lowest reliably-measured, naturally-occurring temperature on the Earth’s surface happened on July 21, 1983; there, temperatures dropped to minus 89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K).

Daniele Karlicek and his time in Antarctica

Daniele Karlicek (pic aside), of the Department of Mathematics and Geosciences at the University of Trieste (Italy), did  winter over a couple of times at the Italian-French Base “Concordia-Dome C” (WAP MNB-Ø3)  in Antarctica, involved in a paleoclimatic research campaign as part of the research activities carried out at the Isotopic Geochemistry Laboratory of the University of Trieste.

While he was working on the Antarctic Plateau, Daniele Karlicek left a comment about WAP proposal of buiding a chapel at the Italian Base MZS in Antarctica. –Beautiful initiative, the one of building a Church in Antarctica!- he wrote,  and add:I did it myself, by reproducing with ice, the Dome Church of my town (Muggia, in the Province of Trieste) at Base Concordia “Dome C” during my overwintering stay- .

Now Daniele has informed WAP that, time ago, an Australian Organization which has probably seen the “ice Church” published somewhere, did ask him to set a video on this matter.

We are glad to share it through, up here at WAP website

           

 

Thanks Daniele, you did great… it was a nice way to say a prayer,

Lord will be certainly grateful of your job!

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!

 

RI5ØANO, a new QSL from Bellingshausen Station

Bellingshausen Station (WAP RUS-Ø1) is a Russian (formerly Soviet) Antarctic Station at Collins Harbour, on King George Island of the South Shetland Islands.

It was one of the first research stations founded by the Soviet Antarctic Expedition in 1968.

It is also the location of Trinity Church, the only permanently staffed Eastern Orthodox Church in Antarctica.

Callsigns RI5ØANO & RI1ANO were both operated Jan & Febr. 2018 by Alex Ushakov UA1OJL at   Russian Antarctic Research Station “Bellingshausen” is located at 62°12′ South,  58°58′ West (CQ 13,  ITU 73,  IOTA AN-010,  AA: UA-04, WAP RUS-Ø1)

TNX QSL Manager Alexei Kuz’menko RN1ON

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

IAØ/IZ1KHY on the way to Antarctica

Danilo Collino IZ1KHY  (pic aside) will be involved in Antarctica till the end of February 2019, following several scientific missions and research projects, including remote camps.

Lt. Danilo Collino is an expert Mountain Scout of the Italian Army and this is his second mission in Antarctica where he was wintering over in the year 2004 operating as IØQHM/KC4 from Mario Zucchelli Station (WAP ITA-Ø1).

 

This season, Danilo will stay for a week (maybe more) in few remote camps and in each of the following Bases:

MZS-Mario Zucchelli Station (WAP ITA/Ø1)

Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1)

McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22)

Jang Bogo Station (WAP KOR-Ø2)

Concordia Station (WAP MNB-Ø3)           (pic above Lt. Danilo Collino IZ1KHY operating from Sitry CampAntarctica)

Of course, he will need permission to operate Ham radio frequencies from the foreign Bases, by using the Station’s equipment (Antennas & RTX); let’s hope he will succeed and in this case the call could be IAØ/IZ1KHY from the Italians sites and eventually KC4/IZ1KHY, ZL5/IZ1KHY, HL8/IZ1KHY. At Concordia Station he will also use IAØ/IZ1KHY. On remote camps he will try to set some dipoles and be active SSB only (power 50-100W) as KC4/IZ1KHY/P.

More information to follow in due course.

TNX Lt. Danilo Collino IZ1KHY

 

Pic aside: Left to Right- IZ1KHY Danilo  & I1HYW Gianni

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

DT8A is QRV from King Sejong Base (WAP KOR-Ø1)

Lee Sang Hoon (DS4NMJ) is actually active from the Korean Antarctic scientific station  King Sejong  (WAP KOR-Ø1) on the South Shetland Islands, signing DT8A.

Lee operates barefoot, just 100 Watts  but he has just started to be on air all bands  CW and SSB; he will stay at King Sejong Base until the end of December.

QSL manager is HL2FDW

TNX DT8A

Established on February 17, 1988, King Sejong Base consists of 11 facility buildings and two observatories, and it is located on the Barton Peninsula, King George Island. It experiences a fairly mild climate, and therefore draws a large number of animals for summer breeding (which, unsurprisingly, draw a lot of biologists).

In the summer, the station supports up to 90 people from the Korean Polar Research Institute, and guest scientists from other institutions as well. Over winter, it accommodates only 17 engineers and scientists who maintain the station and routinely collect data (meteorological records, oceanographical parameters, etc.), but their main focus is on tracking the general change of the natural environment.

The video above shows the Blizzard on King Sejong Station of Antarctica

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

Casey Station-Antarctica, WAP AUS-Ø2

Casey Station (WAP AUS-Ø2) is significant as a transport hub for the Australian Antarctic Program, with the introduction of intercontinental jet flights for scientists and operational staff from Hobart to the Wilkins Ice Runway (WAP AUS-NEW), 65 kilometres (40 mi) inland from Casey Station. The inaugural landing of the AAD‘s Airbus A319 aircraft was on the evening of  December 9th,  2007.
A video of  Wilkins runway is available by clicking on the gif aside:

In addition, there is an appendix of the main Casey Base (WAP AUS-Ø2); that is   Casey Station Skyway,  just a smaller airstrip for aircraft such as  Twin Otters and the Baslers.  It is located at  66° 17’ 17” South, 110° 45’ 27” East, 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) to the East of Casey Base, and opened on 30 December 2004.

Casey Station Skyway (66° 17’ 17” South, 110° 45’ 27” East) will be add to the WAP-WADA Directory as “AUS-NEW ”
Below few pics of Casey Skyway:

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.