Airborne science and technology, Antarctica

Position
Lat. 90°0'0"S, Long. 0°0'0"E

Our airborne national capability

Our airborne science and technology services and facilities contribute to a National Capability programme that is supported by the UK Government and NERC.

Accessing our services

Scientific community access to Antarctic and Arctic infrastructure is coordinated and managed by BAS through the Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme and opportunities for polar fieldwork for NERC-funded scientists. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss your project requirements. Scientific instruments, sensors and equipment that will be deployed on Twin Otter aircraft require time for installation and certification.  Depending on the instrumentation to be fitted it may be necessary that integration, installation and testing cost are paid.

BAS Air Unit support services

  • Provide the installation guidance and management of science survey equipment onto the BAS Twin Otters and Dash 7.
  • Carry out the installation and certification of the science survey equipment
  • Maintain the core BAS survey equipment
  • Provide survey equipment engineering support during science campaigns
  • Provide the guidance and oversight of UAS flying in Antarctica
  • Provide the development of BASs UAV capability.

Focal point for UK polar science our aims are to:

  • Sustain a UK national capability that delivers scientific understanding of environmental processes over large time and space scales, supports world-leading environmental science, and meets national needs
  • Enable the most ambitious Earth-system science by facilitating long-term, global-scale programmes that integrate research across disciplines
  • Reduce the long-term cost of our large research facilities and invest in new technologies that make far-reaching environmental research and observation more cost-effective
  • Ensure that our research centre thrives as vibrant, innovative, sustainable organisation that attracts and retains the best scientists

Airborne Geophysics

BAS will deliver an airborne geophysical capability deployed on low-cost piloted and autonomous aircraft. This instrument suite includes gravimeter, magnetometers and ice-penetrating radar, which can be flown with LIDAR in support.  The suite has been widely employed on NERC and other grants.  Details here

Airborne meteorological and atmospheric instrument suite (MASIN)

BAS will deliver an instrumented aircraft with suite of atmospheric instruments and scientific expertise ready-to-support grants, collaborations, and strategic programmes.

Aerial photography camera

Aerial photography at the British Antarctic Survey The British Antarctic Survey owns and operates a Zeiss RMK large format aerial photography camera. The camera can be fitted to two of …

A view looking east across the Antarctic Peninsula during a flight back to Rothera Station from Fossil Bluff

Airborne Remote Sensing

Two of the four BAS Twin Otters are equipped with a full remote sensing capability, providing scientists with data on land, ice and sea. This includes VNIR & SWIR hyperspectral …

ANTARCTIC BLOG: Science from the air #5

26 January, 2016 by Tom Jordan

Wrapping up I have started several of my blog posts saying I am writing in various odd/unusual/uncomfortable locations…the back of a Twin Otter, or in a mountain tent high on …





ANTARCTIC BLOG: Science from the air #1

7 December, 2015 by Tom Jordan

Tom Jordan is part of the PolarGAP project, an ambitious international collaboration which will use airborne geophysics to explore one of the last known frontiers on our planet – the …



Air unit awarded prestigious aviation award

11 August, 2017

The British Antarctic Survey Air Unit have been awarded the Johnston Memorial Trophy for 2017 by The Honourable Company of Air Pilots. This is a considerable acknowledgement of the regard held …



Filchner Ice Shelf System, Antarctica

Understanding the contribution that polar ice sheets make to global sea-level rise is recognised internationally as urgent.  The mission of this five-year project is to capture new observations and data …


GOCE+Antarctica

An international project called GOCE+Antarctica- Dynamic Antarctic Lithosphere supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) was launched in late January 2016 as part of its Support to Science program. This …


International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration

This joint UK-US research programme aims to improve the understanding of the processes affecting ice sheet stability to predict, with more certainty, the future impact of sea-level rise from Thwaites …