Technological developments

A productive hydroponic garden at Macquarie Island
A productive hydroponic garden at Macquarie Island (Photo: Jeremy Smith)
Mt Henderson repeaterModern medicine in Antarctica 2010Diver undergoing final checks

Developments in technology have been responsible for many changes in the way in which we live and work in Antarctica.

Changes in telecommunications, energy generation and management and the production of water have led to more comfortable living arrangements on station.

Modern hydroponics facilities mean that we can now grow a small amount of fresh food – a luxury far beyond the imagination of early Antarctic expeditioners!

The challenge for isolated station doctors in dealing with a medical emergency or trying to make a complex diagnosis during the long winter months when evacuation is impossible, has been reduced a little with the advent of modern tele-medicine facilities.

Nevertheless, modern innovation builds upon the experiences of the past, and we would not be able to live as comfortably in Antarctica as we do today without the achievements of those who preceded us.

These pages contain a collection of interesting historical photos and explanations that give an insight into how humans have coped with the challenges of living and working in Antarctica.