Future Developments in Land Traverse Resupply Operations in Antarctica.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Logistic support to inland bases and field parties in Antarctica consumes a large part of the budgets of National Antarctic Programmes. In recent years, significant cost savings have been made by replacing parts of some previously entirely air resupply operations with overland traverses. Since the first resupply of South Pole Station in 2005, incremental improvements to load carrying systems and sled design have improved the efficiency of traverses significantly by increasing the load each vehicle can pull. Autonomous vehicles carrying Ground Penetrating Radar systems and semi-autonomous tractor vehicles in the final stages of development and testing, offer the potential to further enhance the efficiency of traverses by improving route finding, increasing crew safety, and enabling crews to operate for longer periods, reducing mission length. The use of renewable energy sources to power small autonomous vehicles carrying Ground Penetrating Radar systems represents a further opportunity to improve the efficiency of traverses by reducing the amount fuel carried for use during the traverse. The use of renewable energy sources to power larger polar vehicles is being investigated, but reducing traverse fuel demand further by using of this type of technology in tractor vehicles is not likely in the short term.
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