On the occasion of the 31st Antarctic Treaty Consultative meeting held in Kiev, Ukraine, from the 2nd to the 13th of June 2008, SciencePoles looks at one of the lasting legacies of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-08: A series of high-tech scientific research stations recently completed, or in the process of being constructed in Antarctica.
Never since the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58 has the frozen continent seen such intense infrastructure building activity, or such a rapid increase in research capacity. Futuristic in their design and all specifically adapted to the Antarctic environment, these new stations draw on the latest technological and design innovations to maximise functionality and minimise their environmental footprint in accordance with the requirements of the Protocol for Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
Although they share many similarities such as waste treatment plants and stilts or hydraulic legs, the new stations also vary significantly in scale, scientific function, geographic location, and energy reliance.
A picture gallery of the various stations and projects is available