The Samikhsya Bureau
NEW DELHI: The 40th Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (40-ISEA) hosted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences successfully returned to Cape Town on April 10, 2021, after completing a journey of 12 thousand nautical miles in 94 days, including stopovers.
This achievement concludes four successful decades of India’s scientific endeavour in the continent of peace and cooperation.
The 40-ISEA comprised Indian scientists, engineers, doctors, and technicians, who began their journey from the Mormugao Port of Goa to Antarctica on January 07, 2021.
The team reached its destination station Bharati on February 27, 2021, and Maitri on March 08, 2021. Bharati and Maitri are India’s permanent research base stations in Antarctica.
The stations are approachable only during the austral summer season between November and March.
On its way to Antarctica, the voyage team deployed four autonomous Ocean Observing DWS (Directional Wave Spectra) wave drifters between 35-degree and 50-degree south latitudes in collaboration with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Hyderabad.
The drifters would transmit real-time data of spectral characteristics of waves, sea surface temperatures, and sea-level atmospheric pressure to INCOIS, Hyderabad, which will help validate weather predictions in a big way.
The 40-ISEA was onboard the MV Vasiliy Golovnin, a chartered ice-class vessel. It made stopovers at Cape Town for picking up helicopters and replenishing fuel and provisions and at the Indian research bases Bharati and Maitri for resupply and changeover of winter crew.
The expedition positioned a team of 20 personnel at Bharati led by Mr Atul Suresh Kulkarni from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism and 21 personnel at Maitri led by Mr Ravindra Santosh More from the Indian Meteorological Department.