Lincoln Agritech in Antarctica
Lincoln Agritech’s Sensing Technologies team has been assisting the
Working alongside glaciologist, Dr Wolfgang Rack, and his
Late last year, Lincoln Agritech scientist, Dr Adrian Tan, travelled to Antarctica to equip a
Tell us about your experience in
[Adrian Tan]: I was stationed at Scott Base New Zealand from 9th to 28th November. Located at the southern tip of
We conducted daily trips to locations on the sea ice around the ‘pressure ridges’ (located near Scott Base) and specific waypoints at
At the time of our survey, the locations were still frozen sea ice perfect for field work. In the warmer summer months - from December onwards - the sea ice melts and becomes an open sea.
What was your induction programme like? We heard you built an ice wall.
There were just two members in my induction programme. The programme taught and equipped us with important safety skills required to conduct our experiments in
One of the fun aspects of the induction programme was the overnight camp where we built a snow wall. Snow walls are important as they protect campsites and tents from being inundated with blown snow, something that happens regularly at Scott Base. When there is a larger group on the induction programme, the participants get to build an igloo.
Part of your field work was delayed by snow storms and drifts, what did you do on those days?
Snow storms happen frequently, which in hindsight shouldn’t have surprised me! These storms come with 100 km/h winds, blowing snow and generating poor visibility (a few meters). Conditions are categorised according to the severity of the storms and this determined whether we were allowed outside of Scott Base. About half the time we were there, field expeditions were delayed due to storms.
While these storms blew through we waited at the Base and spent time completing unfinished work, preparing for a quick deployment once the storm was over, and engaging in indoor activities such as reading, watching movies, gym/ yoga sessions, playing games etc.
During your trip, many researchers were residing at Scott Base. What was that like?
The capacity of Scott Base is about 100 people. At one point there were more than 100 personnel at the Base due to delays in inbound and outbound flights to
Was it difficult doing field work in
Doing field work in
The trials were a success and we were able to successfully deploy the snow radar.
The primary snow measurement objective was achieved - we successfully conducted snow mapping at a height of 15m with a cruising speed of 2m/s.
This method of assessing snow depth is considerably faster than the traditional method of drilling core holes in the ice. A 2km transect can be flown in 30 minutes. This technique will be considerably cheaper and will greatly increase the amount of data that can be generated measuring the changing depth of snow and will assist with understanding climate change.
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