MINSK, 3 December (BelTA) – Belarusian polar explorers have started scientific research in Antarctica, the press service of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) quoted Head of the 12th Belarusian Antarctic Expedition Aleksei Gaidashov as saying.
The expedition has already done some scientific work, BelTA has learned. A weather station M-49M has been deployed in line with the scientific program on researching changes in the environment and the climate in Enderby Land (in eastern Antarctica). Weather updates are now regularly shared with foreign stations in Antarctica as well as the Antarctic Logistics Center International (ALCI) in Cape Town for the sake of enabling aircraft flights inside Antarctica.
Belarusian researchers have also started collecting samples of Antarctic biota for genetic research. A snow-measuring post has been arranged to start monitoring snow cover depth.
An automatic scanning sun photometer CIMEL developed by the Physics Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus has been installed as part of the atmosphere physics study program and for the sake of the national space program. The instrument has been tuned and passed reference measurements.
An ozone layer measuring post has been deployed in the atmospheric physics lab. Ground-level ozone content is now regularly measured. The explorers also went to the shore ice of Lazurnaya Bay and samples of fish fauna were caught there.
The Belarusian Antarctic station has the necessary stockpiles of food, medications, and fuel. Instruments for scientific studies, life support systems, means of transportation and communications function as normal.
BelTA reported earlier that a solemn ceremony to launch the 12th Belarusian Antarctic expedition took place in the National Academy of Sciences on 5 November. The number of people taking part in the expedition has been increased to ten this time. Half of them are researchers. Every participant of the Belarusian Antarctic expedition has to take care of things as part of the main profession and allied ones. In addition to further building up the infrastructure of the first stage of the station they will have to take a lot of samples of natural Antarctic materials and carry out a complex of scientific studies.