The 10th BELARE expedition is about to start
The 2014-2015 season is about to start at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica. This is the 10th anniversary of the start of the project and the 11th season since the Belgian Antarctic Expeditions re-launched. It is also the longest continuous period of Belgian activity in Antarctica.
19 scientists will carry out research in and around Princess Elisabeth this season with the full support of the station team. Scientists and crew will be collecting data for and participating in 9 Belgian and International scientific projects across a wide range of disciplines.
The popularity of the station is a testament to both the location of the station, which offers a wide variety of interesting research environments, and to the quality of the logistical infrastructure and services provided. After ten seasons, it looks like Princess Elisabeth has gained a solid reputation as a first-class scientific platform.
All systems are go
The season starts with major snow clearance. All vehicles and systems will also be checked and serviced before the arrival of the scientists. As the Belgian Antarctic Operator, the International Polar Foundation provides support to scientific expeditions ranging from: procurements to logistics to providing experienced field guides and technical services to scientists in the management of their instruments.
The team has to reconfigure the South annex, which has suffered some damage caused by ice-movements. The snow-melter unit also has to be relocated a bit closer to the station.
The highlights of the season will be unloading the ship and the construction of the Southernmost geomagnetic observatory in the world for the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium. It will be built on the Utsteinen Nunatak, 300m from the station.
A dedicated communication officer in the field
We will try to bring you to the heart of the action and to make the scientific activities and life at the station come alive. This year, we have a trick up our sleeve!
For the first time ever, we will have a dedicated communications officer in the field for the majority of the season. Expect to be bombarded with outstanding pictures and captivating news, peppered with some full-action videos!
Picture: Place unloading cargo at Princess Elisabeth - © International Polar Foundation