Innovative transportable laboratories for Polar science
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the British Antarctic Survey have built a
transportable laboratory facility, named the Dirck Gerritsz Laboratory, to accommodate new scientific research on and
from the westernAntarctic Peninsula. The design provides a flexible,modular, plug-and-play, innovative and sustainable
laboratory setup. The docking station houses four 20-foot ISO standard high-cube containers, each of which contains a
different laboratory. Special technological features were used to minimise the environmental impact. The four laboratory
containers are flexible and can be installed and used as required, and renewed or removedwhen necessary. The container
laboratories have provided, since opening in 2013, enhanced facilities for global climate change research through
studying the community composition of phytoplankton; the ecological impact of virus-induced mortality in different
phytoplankton groups; dimethylsulphide and brominated compound fluxes; and CO2 concentrations and trace elements
in sea water. Transportable research laboratory facilities provide an effective and efficient approach for undertaking
scientific research in challenging environments and might be the start of a new way of undertaking research, including
exchanging laboratory modules between research stations in Antarctica.
Authors: Noor, Liesbeth H.W., van der Kroef, Dick A., Wattam, David, Pinnock, Michael, van Rossum, Ronald, Smit, Marck G.., Brussard, Corina P.D.