Is to ensure that our vehicles fleet provides a high-quality facililty for UK research and support teams in Antarctica; and to use our technical expertise and resources effectively and efficiently.
- Supporting science. To procure, modify and maintain appropriate wheeled and tracked vehicles to support deep-field research and operational campaigns
- Supporting station infrastructure. To select, modify and maintain mobile plant and specialist equipment to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of our research stations.
Technology, innovation and training
- Operate fully equipped vehicles and mechanical engineering workshop facililties in Cambridge and at Antarctic Research Stations
- Continously review operational procedures and vehicle performance to develop new techniques or modifications that enhance deep-field working and improve energy efficiency
- Train our vehicle mechanics and plant technicians to operate, service and maintain the fleet in Antarctica
- Train designated vehicle operators from our science and support teams to safely operate specialist vehicles around research stations or deep-field
- Work collaboratively with colleagues from other national Antarctic programmes to share ideas and best practice in polar operations
Vehicles and general plant procurement
From the early days of Antarctic exploration vehicles have been an essential part of Antarctic life. The British Antarctic Survey has a large fleet of vehicles which are deployed mainly at Rothera and Halley Research stations. Before vehicles are deployed to Antarctica work is carried out in the Cambridge workshops to optimise performance and ensure maximum efficiency. Specialist training is given to operators/mechanics where needed and in most cases a short spell in the Cambridge workshops is required.
The Vehicles team sources its vehicle where possible from the United Kingdom. Specialized machines are required for Halley operations and these are normally sources from Northern America or Scandinavia. Vehicles are normally replaced after 12-15 years operation or when they are deemed redundant for station activities. Vehicles that can undertake several tasks on station are more desirable and offer better value for money.
Workshops and facilities