Belgium Back on Air in Antarctica
After nearly 44 years of silence on the Belgian side of the radio, activity has started again from the Princess Elisabeth Station at Utsteinen. Karel Moerman has been able to establish the first contacts on December 1st, 2009. From then onwards, the transmissions reached worldwide thanks to the use of the Morse code and the microphone.
Most bases in Antarctica have their own radio-amateur. Regular contact, so far, include the Novolazarevskaya, Mirzny and Neumayer bases. On January 24th, 2010, Karel was even able to make a historical contact in Belgium with Roger van Marcke, a member of the third Belgian expedition at the "Base Roi Bauduin" some 50 years ago.
The communications infrastructure at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Station ranges from HF to VHF, via Airband and satellite connections, each of them with its own use. In the harsh environment of Antarctica, being able to establish a radio contact can make the difference between life and death, and nobody leaves the base without a radio.
Picture: International Polar Foundation - © International Polar Foundation