Dutch science facility in Antarctica

Five Dutch scientists will start a science facility in Antarctica on January 2013. The Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) announced this Wednesday.

Dutch researchers have been active for decades in the polar regions researching the ice, the (former) climate, the polar oceans, terrestrial and marine ecology and human intervention in the past (the whaling industry) and now (tourism). This has gained the Netherlands fruitful collaborations with international partners in polar science. The British Antarctic Survey and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research will intensify their collaboration by building a mobile research facility at Rothera Research Station. The concept of this research facility is to create flexible laboratory modules that will be connected to a docking station at the research station

The concept of this research facility is to create flexible laboratory modules that will be connected to a docking station. These modules are compact laboratory, built into shipping containers. The British Antarctic Survey will provide the necessary services (electricity / water supply, drainage and environmental) with the construction of the docking station. Design and preparation of labmodules will take place at the Royal Dutch Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). This concept provides a flexible approach to research in Antarctica. When a project ends, a module can easily be replaced by another. In the long term involvement of other partners is encouraged.

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