The countdown’s ticking very fast… only two days until departure in Brussels. In the meantime our scientific equipment has already arrived and was taken aboard. Hooray! Sending oftentimes valuable, sometimes unique (think ROV, special diving & fishing devices, …) gear half way round the world and back can be challenging, to say the least. A lot of administration and paperwork (and patience) is needed to get everything on track. Luckily our chief has been very persistent and eventually managed to master the bureaucracy jungle attached to the task. So, now it’s there and we have some graphic proof, which is great… but, hey, wait what is that?! What happened to our box (very solid and sturdy aluminum box that is)?
Things rarely go as planned with end of the world exploration. And so our first surprise is an equipment box already punched in before it even got on board. We’re still lucky though. Nothing absolutely crucial seems to be in that box and also while the box itself has definitely changed shape, the content seems largely intact. Phew. Back in Europe our next immediate challenge is to not overload our bags and get everything checked in.
With only 4 days to departure for Argentina and just a week for the planned departure from Ushuaia, things are getting serious. For most greater endeavours I undertake, I tend to start dreaming about it in advance. Same for this expedition; at least for that matter. My dream, as most dreams go, was a bit incoherent, but I do clearly remember being on a sailing ship, which unsurprisingly resembled the ‘Australis’ quite a bit. I was sitting on deck just before the mast and tried to keep my mind off these insanely high waves, which towered over our ship like mountains. In my dream I wasn’t particularity worried … but neither was I particularly calm.
So naturally, as I woke up, the first thing was to check the weather forecast for the Drake: for the next 3 days winds between 9 to 17 m/s, waves between 3 and 7 meters and temperatures around 4°C. Hopefully we will be lucky with the weather and we can proceed with our planned departure from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula on the 24th.
The duffel bags are (nearly) packed and ready, waiting at the entry of my flat for departure. Last minute preparations are still to be completed. The lion’s share of our (scientific) equipment has already been shipped months ago and is waiting for us in Ushuaia. However, there are always some last purchases to be made. Five days until departure: we will meet at the train station Brussel Zuid (Midi) and together take the train to Charles de Gaulle, Paris. From there we will board the plane to Buenos Aires. Ready for our low-emission expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula!
In the context of the Solar Terrestrial Centre of Excellence (STCE) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), we are organising a workshop at the Royal Observatory of Belgium on December 4th, 2017 on the Mutual benefits between atmospheric research and radio based science over polar regions.
If you wish to give a presentation at this workshop, please submit your abstract on the event page. The deadline is 20 November 2017.
In case you want to attend the meeting, please register on the event page. The deadline for registration is 27 November 2017.
Feel free to circulate these info to your colleagues that may be interested. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any additional information.
We hope to see you for constructive discussions at the workshop.
Contributions are welcome on both aspects:
The workshop foresees the participation of scientists studying the neutral and/or the ionized part of the atmosphere, from the lower to further upper regions such as the magnetosphere. Presentations dealing with climatology studies on their characteristics and abnormal behaviours during extreme events are welcome.
Contributions from researchers of Arctic and Antarctic operations that need to remove or mitigate the atmospheric contribution from their measurements (such as geophysicists, geologists, geodesists, radio astronomers and remote sensing researchers) are also encouraged.
This workshop is organised with the support of the Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence and the Scientific Commitee on Antarctic Research.
On Friday, April 29 – Brussels the BNCAR organised a symposium on the scientific research at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Station. Below you may find an overview of the Abstracts that were submitted.