SDA Science Trials

The RRS Sir David Attenborough begins its polar science trials in Antarctica. A team of 30 national and international scientists, engineers and technical staff are working on the ship for almost two months of science trials – the first to test the ship’s science capabilities in cold and deep polar waters.

The team will run a range of scientific equipment and systems, several for the first time to test equipment covering oceanography, chemistry, and marine biology. They will also work collaboratively to test out the large laboratory facilities to do multidisciplinary research.

The ship has been operating in and around Antarctica since December, delivering key personnel and cargo to British Antarctic Survey’s research stations. As part of getting the ship fully operational for science, these trials will allow the team on board to use science equipment for the first time around Antarctica.

You can keep up to date with how the teams are getting by following #SDAscience on Twitter.


Live webcam from RRS Sir David Attenborough:

Live position:

A Parliamentary exhibition and reception was held to celebrate the SDA, during the vessels science trials.

The image exhibition and reception were held at Portcullis House Westminster at the invite of The Speaker of the House. The event hosted by James Grey MP & the APPG Polar Regions. The day included guests such as the UK Science Minister George Freeman MP,  BAS Director Dame Prof. Jane Francis and Sir David Attenborough, amongst other distinguished guests. The reception included a live link to the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

SDA image exhibition in Parliament
SDA image exhibition in Parliament

SDA image exhibition in Parliament science minister talks
George Freeman the UK Science Minister talks at the reception in Parliament

Live link to SDA during parliament reception
A live link to SDA during the Parliament reception

The Speaker during the reception
The Speaker

Sir David Attenborough looking at the Exhibition
Sir David Attenborough

BAS Director & Science Minister

Sir David Attenborough

Exhibition in Parliament
Exhibition in Parliament

Live Link to SDA
Live Link to SDA


Pictures from the SDA’s ‘ice trials’:

SDA in Antarctica SDA during ice trials SDA Bridge