Antarctic video gallery

First sea-ice landing near Italian station for Australia’s Antarctic Airbus

Grand Designs: Macca

Grand Designs: Macca

Video transcript

Adrian Young — Project Manager

We’ve selected a site just to the south of the existing station and it’s on ground outside of the storm surge area that we currently experience. But it’s also on good ground that’s away from known nesting site, from any of the elephant seals and penguins in the area.

Travis Thom — Strategic Infrastructure Project Lead

The reason we’ve had to make a virtual tour is that it’s really difficult to get to Macquarie Island. There’s only really one ship that goes down each year to do an annual resupply. There’s also fantastic opportunities to really get a sense of some of the science that’s carried out on the island, whether it be going inside one of the science laboratories or getting an insight into the radionuclide station.

The current station is made up of 48 buildings that are scattered across the isthmus. What we’re proposing for the new station is to reduce the number of buildings down to between 15 and 20.

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Virtual Space Station

Virtual Space Station

Video transcript

[music]

Dr JEFF AYTON — CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, AAD: A mission to Mars is analogous to an Antarctic mission. Australia’s Antarctic stations are isolated and confined and they're an extreme environment. We are isolated for up to nine months of the year, so that is about the longest that people are isolated in a real-life situation on Earth. There’s not a whole lot of evidence around how to deal with teams in Antarctica or in other extreme environments.

[music]

PROF. JAY C. BUCKEY Jnr — PHYSICIAN, ASTRONAUT, GEISEL SCHOOL OF MEDICAL SCHOOL AT DARTMOUTH: And what VR allows you to do is to immerse people in different natural settings, so they can be in the Bavarian Alps, or they can be on a beach in Australia, and there’s evidence that exposure to nature which we all like and seek out, can be restorative and that it can help people to relieve stress, it can also help perhaps improve people’s attention and mental functioning.

NATE PAYNE, MECHANIC, MAWSON STATION: Best bit about the virtual reality experience is the 360 effect. I play a lot of games on my xbox and the VR is very different because you're interactive with it, you get to look around.

PROF. JAY C. BUCKEY Jnr — PHYSICIAN, ASTRONAUT, GEISEL SCHOOL OF MEDICAL SCHOOL AT DARTMOUTH: There aren’t that many people who live in challenging, isolated, and confined environments like this, so the information we get from them is so valuable because it tells us about how people in this kind of environment would use a tool like this.

NATE PAYNE, MECHANIC, MAWSON STATION: When I was little I would have loved to be an astronaut, so to be in a situation where it’s something similar to being in space and to be able to add to the program, it’s very cool.

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Fire and ice

Fire and ice

Video transcript

Adam Doran — Tasmania Fire Service

It’s a secondary job for them down there. So we’ve got cooks, plumbers and fridge mechanics and we are trying to mould them all into a firefighting unit.

Chris MacMillian — Casey Station Leader

We’ve been going through the basics of firefighting, including emergency response with an extinguisher, also handling of hoses, also BA, breathing apparatus training, and also team work and going in to fight a fire.

Adam Doran — Tasmania Fire Service

Some of the conditions they face are at an extreme level. So relative humidity is a big one for them. It sits at nearly around zero percent. So to put that in our terms if we have humidity at that level here in Tasmania, we are facing catastrophic conditions and that’s their normal.

Chris MacMillian — Casey Station Leader

Water is a particular challenge in the Antarctic. We only have limited supply, and that is for all uses of water, so the firefighting water is limited. Then you have the freezing conditions that also may affect your ability to use the water effectively. We’re only dependent on ourselves for up to six months of the year. We really have to know each other, work well together, communicate well and rely on each other.

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Icebreaker floating

Icebreaker floating

Video transcript

Nick Browne: For me personally and professionally it’s a very exciting point in time and also for the Australian Antarctic Division project team.

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Casey Airdrop

Casey Airdrop

Video transcript

Robb Clifton — Operations Manager

So yesterday we used a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster to do an airdrop of needed parts into Casey station which will assist us get the runway at Wilkins, which is about 70 kilometres from Casey, open to start the summer season.

The parts that we've dropped in are to repair a snow blower and this snow blower is needed to clear the runway in order to land the first flight.

The airdrop capability is a fantastic capability for the Australian Antarctic Program. It means we can get cargo and much-needed materials into our stations without going through the effort of preparing a full runway for an airplane to land on, so for us it’s a real game-changer.

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Expeditioner training

Expeditioner training

Video transcript

>> LUKE — EXPEDITIONER: I’m Luke.

>> GAVIN — EXPEDITIONER: I’m Gavin.

>> DANE — EXPEDITIONER: I’m Dane.

>> BILL — EXPEDITIONER: I’m Bill.

>> SCOTT — EXPEDITIONER: I’m Scott.

>> JOSH — EXPEDITIONER: I’m Josh.

>> ALL: And we're going to Antarctica!

[music]

>> DAVE O’NEILL — MECHANICAL WORKSHOP MANAGER:Okay, folks. We're here today to learn how to operate the Hägglunds in all sorts of terrain. What we're going to do now is immerse the machine in water which is sort of an unnatural act, I would say, to drive a passenger vehicle into a lake.

[music]

>> EXPEDITIONER: Land ahoy!

[music]

 

[end transcript]

2018–19 Antarctic station leaders

2018–19 Antarctic station leaders

Video transcript

Davis Station Leader, Simon Goninon

It’s been a life goal for me for many years. So I've been quite conscious of just in the background, filling in what I thought might have been gaps to prep myself, to make myself a good candidate for the role.

Just the appeal of the isolation and the remoteness and, and the beauty and just how well respected and cared for the environment is, is really something special. It gives me that rare opportunity to dive into that and be a part of it and contribute to that conservation.

I’m really looking forward to getting everyone on station working together. That whole community sense is really appealing for me. I like to be a part of that kind of space and I think everyone that goes down there just genuinely wants to work well and do their jobs well and get the right outcomes for the science projects that we are there to support.

Casey Station Leader, Chris MacMillian

I’m lucky enough to be the Station Leader this year and so I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work in the Antarctic for a whole year with a great bunch of people.

I've always liked that operational type focus and purpose and making a difference in those type of jobs. I've never seen the Southern Lights, so I've seen the Northern Lights, I’m looking to enjoy that.

And also just the changing weather patterns that come through so quickly, and Casey I understand is very, very dramatic in the changes that occur, particularly in the winds and, yeah experiencing all that and hopefully getting the forecast right to be able to do our operations as well.

Mawson Station Leader, Kyle Williams

This will be my second stint as a Station Leader with the Antarctic Division. Last season I was very fortunate to go to Macquarie Island and I had a fantastic experience there, both personally and professionally, and I couldn’t wait to come back and be involved in the Program.

I think that this is the best leadership and management job on the planet. You get to manage a high-tempo operational program, using a range of sea, land and air assets. You get to facilitate and support the completion of some really high value science projects that have some really important outcomes for both the Australian and international scientific communities.

You get to lead a fantastic group of people from a range of diverse backgrounds. And you don’t just get to lead them, you get to work with them and build this really unique community that leads to some really fantastic experiences and memories and friendships that last for a lifetime.

And probably the best part of all that is you get to do all those things whilst working in perhaps arguably, the most beautiful, yet challenging workplace on the planet. So for me there’s nothing else that I’d like to do.

Macquarie Island Station Leader, Kat Panjari

I’m really excited to be heading to Macquarie Island for the wildlife. I think working in partnership with Tas Parks and the Rangers, we'll have such wonderful access to penguin colonies and elephant seals. And to be living so closely with that wildlife, is going to be really exciting for the team.

The thing I like the most about being a Station Leader is bringing a diverse team of people together from all sorts of different technical backgrounds and having a shared vision contributing to the science program.

So I’m really excited to be working with the Division’s Modernisation Program, to start the planning for the construction phase of the new state-of-the-art research station on Macquarie Island. And it’s going to give us increased capacity to do all sorts of interesting research and have less of an environmental impact on the island as well.

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Exploring the deep field

Exploring the deep field

Video transcript

Anthony Hull: Having a traverse or ground-based capability allows us to move inland in all weather conditions and allows us to access areas that we can’t traditionally access by aircraft.

Dr Tas van Ommen: It opens up the interior for a number of scientific projects, and the million year ice core is the first of these projects that we will be using that traverse capability for. You can typically drill — if you have a good season — several hundred meters in a season, maybe a thousand meters, and so we expect the millionaire core to be three thousand meters long and take at least three, perhaps four, summer seasons of drilling.

Many of the components are specialist designs that have to be constructed and built in-house and we've got the right team to do that.

[end transcript]

The Antarctica Experience trailer

The Antarctica Experience trailer

Video transcript

Robb Clifton — Davis Station Leader and Australian Antarctic Division Operations Manager

Welcome to Davis station. We are here on the shores of East Antarctica and it’s really great to have you here, in my office.

Dr Louise Emmerson — Australian Antarctic Division Seabird Ecologist

Here we are out at Magnetic Island. At the moment we just have to be a bit quiet because there are penguins coming past.

Dr Sarah Thompson — Glaciologist and Geophysicist

If we look around us, we can see melt ponds forming on the surface. The ice flows down into the ocean where it starts to break up and form icebergs.

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