Task 3.1

Polar Platforms: Research ships, stations, aircraft and autonomous instrumentation

In 2007, the European Polar Consortium, (EUROPOLAR), an ERA-NET funded by the European Commission, provided an overview of European polar research infrastructures controlled and owned by European countries in the Arctic and Antarctic. According to this analysis, the current 24 organisations which are members of the European Polar Board (representing 17 European nations) manage and operate 22 Antarctic stations, 26 Arctic stations, 13 polar vessels and a substantial polar air support and airborne research capability. These large and diverse networks of research infrastructures operated in the Arctic and Antarctic are powerful assets for supporting a vast range of scientific research. However, the majority of the infrastructures are independently managed by individual nations and no overall co-ordinated framework for on-going shared access or interoperability currently exists.

Furthermore, the 2007 inventory requires a thorough update and should be expanded in order to have an encompassing vision of the scientific capacities of these infrastructure and assets, including their role in the environmental monitoring of the Polar Regions. Information on the requirements and procedures for trans-national access to these infrastructures should also be collected.

This task will develop a new scheme for a European management system for trans-national access to polar infrastructure and logistics through the establishment of an European Network of Polar Operations. This will substantially increase the awareness of European polar research capabilities to the scientific community, stakeholders, industry, policy-makers and the public. Task 3.1 is co-led by the Institut Polaire Francais Paul Emile Victor (IPEV), which is the French infrastructure provider for polar research and University of Lisbon (IGOT-UL), which operates no infrastructure of its own in the Polar Regions. IGOT-UL is therefore heavily dependent on an improvement of trans-national access, which is an important goal of this task. The British Antarctic Survey (NERC-BAS), the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS)  and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) will also be major contributors to this task as well as all Work Package 3 partners.

This task will focus on:

  • Maximising the scientific and technology impacts of European polar activities at the global scale.

  • Facilitating access of excellent research projects to European polar facilities.

  • Initiating further relations with industry for joint usage of infrastructures.

  • Minimising logistic costs and environmental impacts.

  • Improving access for researchers to relevant research laboratories within Europe.

  • Promoting intra- and extra-European cooperation.

Work Package lead

Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley
British Antarctic Survey(BAS)
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 (0)1223 221523
Email: beatrix@bas.ac.uk

Task leads