Vernadsky Research Station




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The radio is a main way for communication in Antarctica.

Coming out of the pack ice where he had been a prisoner for 15 months, and so wintering over for the first time in the Antarctic waters, Adrien de Gerlache heard, amongst other things,of the experiences achived by Marconi.

He then wrote, 'The discovery made by Marconi is particularly interesting, one day probably it will be powerful help to polar explorers, as it will allow them to correspond with rescue ships left at sea.'

Sir Douglas Mawson's Australian Antarctic Expeditions to Adelie Land and Macquarie Island(1911-1914) included radio stations. His ship SY "Aurora" also carried a receiver. Communications were maintained with Australia, New Zealand and some ships at sea.

News of Mawson's return from his tragic sledge journey was conveyed to the outside world by wireless.

There can be no doubt today of the value and importance of effective communications for the effective prosecution of the scientific objectives of modern Antarctic expeditions.

Between 1918 and 1941 most expeditions used radio, but made their own arrangements for communications between field parties and the home base. Throughout this period it was uncommon for expeditions in the Antarctic to communicate with the outside world.

1941-1957. There was a marked change in the communication patterns after 1944 when Antarctic exploration was resumed by governments, rather than by privately organized expeditions. Not only did nations establish more than one station at a time (in 1955, before the opening of the International Geophysical Year, four countries had established a total of 21 stations), but the expeditions were continuous from year to year. This situation required efficient communications between stations, and between national groups of stations and their home country. This period, between 1944 and 1957, was not remarkable however for any degree of international cooperation, and so each nation tended to establish its radio networks with only a minimum of attention to the practices of its Antarctic neighbors.

When the program for the International Geophysical Year was being planned in 1955 it was realized that the large increase in the number of Antarctic expeditions would result in greatly increased radio traffic. It was also realized that an international radio network suitable for the transmission of administrative and scientific traffic between the stations of several expeditions as well as to the outside world would necessitate special coordination. For this purposes, at the IGY Antarctic Conference held in Paris in july 1955, a working group on radio transmissions was created. This group had preliminary meetings during that conference and it met again at Brussels in September 1955 and at Paris in 1956 and 1957.

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) was established by the International Council of Scientific Unions in 1958 as a result of the International Geophysical Year in 1957-1958. SCAR's major role is "furthering coordination of scientific activity in Antarctica with a view to framing a scientific program of circumpolar and significance". Soon after its formation SCAR set up a group of experts to assist in the overall coordination of Antarctic radio communications. The group first met at Cambridge in 1960.The following meetings was every year.

The Antarctic Telecommunications Guidance Manual of SCARCOM is a main document for all radio operators in Antarctica.

The radio communication was one of the main way for normal work of network of British Antarctic Survey since first days in Antarctica. Faraday base, Halley base, Signy base, Bird island base was united by radio.

Very often, radio group at bases consist from radio amateurs as high quality specialists in the wide band of radio. Every base has a special call sign for amateur bands. For example, at Amundsen-Scott base (South pole)- KC4AAA, Palmer- KC4AAC, Molodevnaya- R1ANA, Belinsgausen-R1ANF (ex.4K1F), Maitri-VU2AXA, Halley-VP8CWT e.t.c.

Before 1996, the call of radio club Faraday was using VP8FAR. But, any radio amateur used personals calls like VP8AEN in 1982, VP8CQC later on.

The history of Ukrainian radio in Antarctica began in 1996 from Roman Bratchik as EM1KA. Roma has a big experience of polar work. He was a main radio operator on the Franz-Josef Land during 6 years since 1985. The radio amateurs has remembered calls UA1OT and 4K2OT later. In 1996, Roma represented Ukrainian Antarctic Center in Cambridge and came to Faraday base as first communication manager from Ukraine. He worked here very long time till 1998. Is Roma a crazy man? Absolutely no. He is a romantic. His wife was here also in the second wintering team from Ukraine. They has been live in Kiev now.

The second radio operator was Pavel Budanov as EM1HO. Paul lives in a small ukrainian city Poltava. But, he never not visited polar regions. His call sign very often has sounding in the competitions. He is a real contest man. Paul contacted with more then 40 000 different amateur on 10 bands only for one season!

Roma and Paul together has opened new Vernadsky Research Station for big number of radio amateurs. They worked not only from this place. Roman had a license of Great Britain and he visited old base Woordy House 3 km away like VP8CTR. Some later in 1998, he was on the Peterman Island were located old base of Argentine were was in the air like LU/UX1KA.

The Faraday (Vernadsky) Research Station is the oldest operational station in the Antarctic Peninsula area. The base was established in 1947 but rebuilt in 1953 at Marina Point, Galindez Island by Great Britain. In 1979/80 the living and working building underwent major alterations to update the facilities.There is sleeping accommodation for up to 24 people but the normal complement is of the order of 11-15 years round. The named as Faraday. All rules had passing to Ukraine in february of 1996 and renamed to Vernadsky Research Station at 6 of february. Vernadsky is one of the two station for atmospheric science research(the other being Halley on the Antarctic mainland).Programs centre on collecting meteorological and geomagnetic data from instrument installed at the station. The period covered by the meteorological data is one of the longest in the Antarctic. The long run of data contributes to present day weather forecasting and to studies of past climate. Ionospheric and magneto-spheric research are also carried out at Vernadsky, althout the main programs in these fields are based at Halley.

Galindez island,where the station is located, is a small island in the Argentine islands Archipelago ..more info. The nearest point on the mainland coast is some 5 km distant. Since the research at Vernadsky is mainly undertaken on the station, recreational trips into the field assume even more importance than on those bases where the research takes staff away from the base area.The location of Vernadsky within a small group of islands means that in the summer a popular activity is boating to visit other islands within the group, where penguins and seals can be seen. In the winter, sea ice usually forms over the whole area and sledding between the islands and to the mainland is popular.

There are 11 peoples wintering the 3-th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition :

Members of the Vernadsky Research Station

Slavik Skrypnik, Alex Sterenok, Alex Peklo,Valentin Omelyanenko, Mykola Leonov,Oleg Satyrev (EM1LV)
Valentin Vishnevsky, Alex Bakunovsky, Victor Sytov, Vasily Khomicky, Andrej Zalizovsky (from left to right)

VICTOR SYTOV base-commander and meteorologist,40 years old,married,son 15 years old;doctor of philosophy after study in Hydro-meteorological Institute,when is work at present time.Took past in the transference of base to Ukraine;lives in Odessa.
ALEX BAKUNOVSKY physician,41 years old, married, two sons at 15 and 13 years old; graduated from Medical Academy in Kiev, working in the General Military Hospital of Ukraine since 1993; lives in Kiev.
VALENTIN OMELYANENKO systems engineer,47 years old, married,son and daughter at 24 and 16 years; driver after study in Auto Mechanical Academy; worked in Russian Arctic(on Yamal Peninsula) at 8 years;lives in Kiev.
ANDREJ ZALIZOVSKY geophysicist,25 years old,unmarried; education of Radio Astronomy Institute,working in National Academy of Science of Ukraine at Ionospheric Radio Wave Propagation Group; lives in Kharkov.
ALEX PEKLO biologist,45 years old,married,son at 12 years; doctor of philosophy after study in National Academy of Zoology of Ukraine,working in National Museum of Nature,author of 45 scientific works including 6 monographs; member of National Committee of Safe Birds; lives in Kiev.
VALENTIN VISHNEVSKY manager of electro equipment,45 years old,daughter and son at 14 and 9 years,married; education of Geological-Research College; lives in Kiev.
ALEX STERENOK engineer of mechanical systems,38 years old, married,son and daughter at 13 and 5 years; education of Hydro-meteorological College, worked in Russian Arctic(in Yakutia) at 12 years;lives in Kherson.
OLEG SATYREV communications manager,29 years old,unmarried; education of Kharkov's Aviation Academy;worked in Russian Arctic(on Taimyr Peninsula) at 3 years;radio amateur since 1983,first official Ukrainian station on citizen band from Antarctic lives in Kharkov.
VASILY KHOMICKY cook,39 years old,unmarried;education of Social Nourishment Institute in Kharkov; worked in Russian Arctic(on Yamal Peninsula) at 1 year;lives in Kalush(near Ivano-Frankovsk)
SLAVIK SKRYPNIK meteorologist,44 years old,married,daughter at 22 years;education of Hydro-meteorological Institute;worked in North Atlantic at Charlie Station on program of W.M.O.,at present time work in Ukrainian Scientific Marine Ecological Center;author of same scientific works;lives in Odessa.
MYKOLA LEONOV geophysicist,52 years old,unmarried; astrophysicist by education;worked in Moscow at the Institute of Space Research as attached specialist from Kiev State University:rocket experiments with electron beam injection into ionosphere,telemetry data processing,optical observation during geophysical experiments; working at the Kiev National University; lives near Kiev

Post office on Vernadsky has opened at 01 of february of 1996. Vernadsky Research Station is represented Ukraine on territory of World park Antarctic according to the memorandum of relations between Ukrainian Antarctic Center and General Post Office of Ukraine. It is using special stamps,envelops,other accesessories with unique.

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Last updated 31 October 1998