Princess Elisabeth Antarctica - © International Polar Foundation

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Station team beats weather to get Antarctic season underway

Welcome to the first news of the Antarctic summer! After a week of delays due to bad weather, Princess Elisabeth Antarctica’s operations team arrived on the ice at 10:24 CET this morning, and now all of the station’s systems are up and running. Today marks the end winter, and the start of an intensive four-month scientific research season at the world's first zero emission polar station.

The delayed arrival was due to heavy snow at Russia’s Novo Air Base; as a result, the team spent the week in Cape Town, South Africa, waiting for a weather window for their Ilyushin Il-76  flight to Antarctica.

“With the first research teams arriving in only one week, and with important innovations planned for the continuing evolution of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica, we’re not going to let this small delay worry us”, said expedition leader Alain Hubert. “Princess Elisabeth Antarctica is up and running, and we will be ready to welcome the many researchers who are due to come here this season. We’re proud to be supporting the work of top polar scientists who travel here to carry out important research helping us to understand the nature of the Earth and climate related mechanisms.”

During this year’s 2012-2013 BELARE season, the station will have around 30 scientists working in the fields of atmospheric science, glaciology, meteorology, geology, and microbiology, from several different countries, including large campaigns from Belgium, Germany and Japan. Joining them will be InBev Baillet Latour Antarctica Fellowship winner Reinhard Drews, who will begin his Be:Wise glacialogy project later this month

Amongst ongoing construction projects at the station is a remodelling of the station’s water treatment system, which will see it become one of the most advanced in Antarctica. The station’s membrane bioreactor is a unique prototype installation, based on space technology, which can provide a recycled water supply for 20-30 people.

We'll be posting more news from Antarctica as it arrives - stay tuned via @antarcticbase

Author: IPF

Picture: Princess Elisabeth Antarctica - © International Polar Foundation

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