Integrated Science and Logistical Planning to Support Big Questions in Antarctic Science

Wednesday, 16 December 2015: 10:41
103 (Moscone South)
David Glyn Vaughan and Tim M. Stockings, NERC British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Each year, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) supports an extensive programme of science at five Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations, ranging from the tiny Bird Island Research Station at 54°S in the South Atlantic, to the massive, and fully re-locatable, Halley Research Station on Brunt Ice Shelf at 75°S. The BAS logistics hub, Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula supports deployment of deep-field and airborne field campaigns through much of the Antarctic continent, and an innovative new UK polar research vessel is under design, and planned to enter service in the Southern Ocean in 2019. BAS’s core science programme covering all aspects of physical, biological and geological science is delivered by our own science teams, but every year many other UK scientists and overseas collaborators also access BAS’s Antarctic logistics to support their own programmes. As an integrated science and logistics provider, BAS is continuously reviewing its capabilities and operational procedures to ensure that the future long-term requirements of science are optimally supported. Current trends are towards providing the capacity for heavier remote operations and larger-scale field camps, increasing use of autonomous ocean and airborne platforms, and increasing opportunities to provide turnkey solutions for low-cost experimental deployments. This talk will review of expected trends in Antarctic science and the opportunities to conduct science in Antarctica. It will outline the anticipated logistic developments required to support future stakeholder-led and strategically-directed science programmes, and the long-term ambitions of our science communities indentified in several recent horizon-scanning activities.