Antarctica, the world’s fifth largest continent, is the coldest, the emptiest, and the windiest place on earth. Although it contains 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of the world’s fresh water, it gets so little precipitation that it’s technically considered a desert. The general climate is so hostile, with average temperatures hovering around -50°C, that there are no land mammals or permanent residents. So... let’s go!
This February, NI India field engineer Paras Loomba traveled to Antarctica as part of the 2041 International Antarctic Expedition. 2041 was founded by explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South poles. The goal of the expedition was to provide corporate leaders, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and teachers with first-hand knowledge about climate change in the Antarctic peninsula.
Loomba used NI wireless sensor network (WSN) products throughout the trip. For example, he monitored the temperature one night when they camped out, successfully measuring temperature from 2 degrees to -6 degrees Celsius and withstanding wind velocity of 50 knots.
Because 2041 encourages the use of renewable energy whenever possible, Loomba used a solar battery to power the monitoring setup. Later in the trip, he collaborated with the participants from Lloyd’s Register Group, using their small wind turbine to power the WSN gateway.