27th August 2020

New films for the British Antarctic Survey

New films for the British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet.

Cambridge Filmworks have teamed up with BAS to produce a suite of new films highlighting two incredible new construction projects at Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island and King Edward’s Point in South Georgia.

Rothera Research Station, the largest British Antarctic facility, is a centre for biological research and a hub for supporting deep-field and air operations.  Situated on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula the site includes the Bonner research laboratory, offices and workshops and a crushed rock runway, hangar and wharf.  Rothera supports a wide range of BAS, UK university and international collaborative science programmes including the Dirck Gerritsz laboratory that is operated by the Netherlands polar research programme.

Rothera Research Station is the UK Antarctic hub for frontier science. Over the next decade, Rothera Research Station will be upgraded to ensure its facilities keep the UK at the forefront of climate, biodiversity and ocean research. This comprehensive modernisation includes a new wharf for the RRS Sir David Attenborough and a new science and operations facility, the Discovery Building.

Building a new wharf in one of the world’s most remote locations presented a number of challenges. Every nut and bolt needed to be accounted for and the 4,500 tonnes of equipment was shipped 11,000 km from the UK to Antarctica. The construction team practiced full-scale assembly of the 45 tonne steel frames in Southampton to identify unexpected challenges or additional pieces of equipment needed whilst still in the UK.

King Edward Point is primarily a marine and  fisheries research station.  Owned by the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) and operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) this facility provides critical research to support the management of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area and the sustainable fisheries that are licensed by GSGSSI in this important location in the Southern Ocean.

Surrounded by spectacular scenery, dominated by mountains and glaciers the new £11 million wharf, dolphin and slipway was built in just 108 days. A remarkable achievement, as constructing on this sub-Antarctic island means that every piece of equipment had to be sent in a single shipment from the UK and the nearest builders’ merchant is thousands of miles away.

The new wharf represents an essential upgrade to the station’s infrastructure. It enhances both safety and efficiency of ship operations for the new polar research vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough and the GSGSSI fisheries patrol vessel, the MV Pharos SG.

The brand new films combine location film with the onsite teams as well as remotely filmed interviews undertaken during the Coid-19 lockdown period.

To find out more about the British Antarctic Survey and their incredible work please visit: https://www.bas.ac.uk/


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