21 June, 2013

Antarctic Twin Otter features in Duxford Education Day

Around 600 schoolchildren from across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire attended a special STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) Education Day at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in June.

Two small, hand-picked, groups of Year 10 pupils were invited to view one of the Twin Otters in BAS’ fleet of aircraft. “Ice Cold Katy” had flown up from Antarctica in February via Canada where she stopped for some routine maintenance. That’s a total distance of 13,245 miles.

She was at Duxford between missions to the Arctic to support the ACCACIA research project which is hoping to reduce uncertainties surrounding climate change models.

The vehicle has been modified to carry sophisticated equipment used for conducting  atmospheric tests and airborne surveys.  Sensors fitted to the aircraft provide scientists with data about the land and ice below. And radar can be used to measure the thickness of the ice.

Geophysicist, Vicky Hamilton-Morris gave the groups a tour of the aircraft…one of four in the fleet. She described how the equipment was deployed and also demonstrated her own cloud making skills with the use of a bottle, some water and a match!

Andy Barker, a quality assurance manager who has spent sixteen seasons in Antarctica, told the students about life for scientists on the frozen continent. His presentation included descriptions of the harsh living conditions endured on research camps, the clothing worn by scientists to shield them from the cold and the food taken on those camps.


For more information please contact Paul Seagrove in the British Antarctic Survey press office on +44 (0)1223 221414