Monday, January 16, 2012
The Criosfera 1
First Brazilian standalone module for atmospheric data collection, which had been prepared at the National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – INPE), is on its way to Antarctic interior.
After the preparation at INPE, from August 27 to October 24, Criosfera 1 module went by truck to Punta Arenas, Chile. On Monday (11/29), it was loaded into an airplane going to Union Glacier, in the base of Ellsworth Mountains, located at 80ºS e 82ºW. “Then it will be transported by sled pulled by tractor until its destination on the ice sheet of West Antarctica,” said Marcelo Sampaio, INPE’s engineer and technical coordinator of Criosfera 1 Project.
From Dec. 21 to Jan. 13, experts from INPE, State University of Rio de Janeiro and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UERJ and UFRGS) will live in Criosfera 1 to complete its installation. “Along with the module and associated equipment, all the material of our camp is already shipped,” said INPE’s experts responsible by the scientific instrumentation and energy supply infrastructure of the module, which has a lot of solar panels and wind generators.
It is a pioneering achievement of Brazil’s institutions and a landmark for the Brazilian Antarctic Program. When we return from the expedition, automatic equipment of weather monitoring, measurement of carbon dioxide, also sampling of atmospheric particulates will remain operating throughout 2012. All these equipment and energy systems will be monitored by satellite communication,” concluded Sampaio.