PIONEERING A ZERO-EMISSION ANTARCTICA
Knowledge about the past, the present, and the future can be found in extremely cold and harsh environments. Knowledge we need to understand and combat climate change. Team Polar is going to facilitate research in these environments. Our curiosity, our ambition to cooperate, and our belief in sharing knowledge will be leading in this project.
The Earth is facing the biggest problem in centuries: climate change. To fight climate change, we have to understand it. However, understanding it means obtaining information in places where nature is pristine, as well as places where the consequences of global warming can be observed first-hand. These places are found in extremely cold, harsh environments like the North Pole, Antarctica, and the oldest glaciers. At the moment, research is done often inefficiently, very expensive and unsustainable. Alternatives are not yet present.
How do we make research more efficient in practice? The concrete aspects which make research inefficient are human involvement when obtaining the data and the fact that research infrastructure is powered by fossil fuels. To solve these problems research equipment needs to be made sustainable, autonomous, and affordable, in that order.
Making research equipment functional on sustainable energy like wind, solar, or hydrogen ensures that it's not limited in range. For example, a vehicle on Antarctica does not need to return to a research station to refuel since it will obtain all its power from the Sun while driving. This allows research to be performed in areas where it previously was not possible.
Autonomous control ensures that no human needs to operate the equipment on-site. Not only does this remove the need to keep the vehicle warm and transport all of the human necessities for survival, it also allows the vehicle to move nonstop; its operating range is limitless. Autonomy also ensures the safety of researchers, who may operate the vehicle at a distance if necessary.
For new technologies to be competitive, they must not break the bank. It turns out that by eliminating the reliance on fossil fuels and removing the human operator, enourmous costs can be saved when traversing the Antarctic continent. Not only this, but the mapping cababilites of the vehicle will save researchers the tremendous costs of finding a safe route.