Providing A Lifeline For Researchers Out In The Cold

Wednesday 25 April 2018
Providing A Lifeline For Researchers Out In The Cold

Article

Researchers have been working in the isolated and volatile Antarctic region since the late 19th century. The notoriously harsh landscape creates challenges for the delivery of support services to research stations for telecommunication providers.

During the freezing winter months, travel to the Antarctic remains impossible and satellite communication is the only link to the outside world, creating a need for high-speed, reliable and resilient technology that can withstand subzero temperatures, gale force winds and heavy snow.

Aurora Australis over Mawson research station radome, © Justin Chambers / Australian Antarctic Division
Aurora Australis over Mawson research station radome
© Justin Chambers / Australian Antarctic Division

From Down Under to the South Pole

While satellite connectivity has always been available, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) signed a new, $4 million deal with Speedcast last year. Following this proud moment, we have worked quickly to upgrade the infrastructure, providing significant benefits to those using the system. The Australian Antarctic territory covers more than 5 million square kilometres of land – around 42% of the whole of Antarctica. Here, the Department of the Environment and Energy’s AAD works to advance Australia’s interests in the South Pole, including the continuation of research at its Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations, Davis, Casey, Macquarie Island, Mawson and Wilkins Aerodrome.

Under the new deal, we are providing VSAT bandwidth, equipment and installation including training, ground station upgrades and repositioning and network optimization. Newtec's high-speed modems (MDM6000 Satellite Modem) have also been incorporated to ensure barrier-breaking efficiency and maximum availability.

Radome at Casey research station, © David Barringhaus / Australian Antarctic Division
Radome at Casey research station
© David Barringhaus / Australian Antarctic Division

Speedy by Name, Speedy by Nature

The upgrades enable four times more throughput thanks to the modem’s combination of Newtec technologies along with the latest transmission standard, DVB-S2X. The highly efficient modems have been installed at both ends of the point-to-point satellite link, connecting the four Antarctic bases and the AAD headquarters. In addition to facilitating data transfers efficiently and reliably, the Newtec modems also lower our total cost of ownership, meaning we have been able to provide the Department of the Environment and Energy’s AAD with excellent value for money.

Mission Critical

In a place where out-of-this-world weather is part of everyday life, a versatile communications infrastructure has never been more critical, and, with Newtec, we are committed to ensuring the safe and stable transfer of vital data and that all-important lifeline to the outside world for researchers and scientists in the Antarctic.

Mike Kenneally, Senior Director Business Development at SpeedcastBest regards, 

Mike Kenneally,
Senior Director Business Development at Speedcast

 

 

This article was also published in Newtec's latest NEWTEC NEWS newsletter next to other trend topics from the industry and all news around Newtec, our solutions and products.

Read the March 2018 issue here.

 

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