National Antarctic Expedition Team Returns To Türkiye

The team taking part in the 6th National Antarctic Science Expedition, which was conducted under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Türkiye, with the support and financing of the Ministry of Industry and Technology and under the coordination of TÜBİTAK MAM Polar Research Institute, reached Istanbul after a long journey.

Captain Özgün Oktar, the vice leader of the 6th National Antarctic Science Expedition in charge of logistics, stated after the expedition that 20 researchers, 2 of whom are foreigners, keep working on 14 projects. Expressing that they returned home after 46-day, Oktar said, "About two tons of cargo, our scientific research equipment and other logistic materials were delivered to the continent. We have completed all the planned works in 33-days in the continent."

Deputy Leader in charge of science of the 6th National Antarctic Science Expedition Assoc. Prof. Hasan Hakan Yavaşoğlu stated that 14 projects were carried out this year and added "We carried out our studies on life sciences, physical sciences, earth sciences and astronomy for 14 days. Then, we completed our studies on Dismal Island in 2 days." Stating that over 60 projects have been completed so far, Yavaşoğlu said, "We have 89 publications. When we consider the figures of the countries conducting expeditions to Antarctica, it is a very high rate. We can say that this year was also a fruitful expedition for our scholars especially on life sciences."

The 6th National Antarctic Science Expedition started on January 22. The expedition team of 20 persons reached the Antarctic continent on February 2, after passing 2 countries and 4 cities, and then went to Horseshoe Island by sea.

The expedition team of 20 persons and the ship crew of 30 persons went to Horseshoe Island, where the temporary science camp is located, and studied 14 scientific projects in which 29 institutions are stakeholders. 2 foreign researchers, one from Portugal and one from Bulgaria, were included in the team.

National technologies were also included in the expedition this year.

HAVELSAN's national GNSS receiver was used to help collect data for positioning, while the 3D map of Horseshoe Island and glacial depths were studied with the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) developed by Türkiye.

The field team communicated by ASELSAN radios and modular radio repeaters. The thermal battery of TÜBİTAK SAGE was kept ready to meet the energy needs when necessary.

In the past years, the first meteorology station and the first three GNSS stations of Türkiye were established in Antarctica.  The data collected from all these stations shed light on many scientific studies, especially in climate change, sea level changes, tectonic movements and glacier observations.

The seismic activity of the region was also monitored with the seismic station established this year.

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