Case Study

British Antarctic Survey

Starlink Mobility – Fully Managed Connectivity

British Antarctic Survey- Research Stations

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) operates a network of research stations across Antarctica, each playing a pivotal role in advancing polar environmental research and understanding the impacts of climate change. These research stations are strategically located across the continent, including Rothera, King Edward Point, Halley VI, Signy, and Bird Island. In their expedition, BAS extended Starlink Mobility connectivity, provided by The Clarus Networks Group, to these research stations to enable real-time climate research and efficient data gathering.

Attribution: British Antartctic Survey

Key Statistics

BAS operates multiple research stations across Antarctica, representing key points for polar scientific exploration and environmental monitoring.

Rothera Research Station, for example, is one of the largest BAS stations, hosting numerous research projects and providing logistical support for field expeditions.

Each research station is equipped with specialised laboratories and facilities tailored to the unique research needs of its location and mission.

BAS’s research portfolio at these stations includes studies on ice shelf stability, sea-level rise, cloud formation, marine predator monitoring, and more.

The Challenge

Research stations in Antarctica face an array of significant challenges due to their remote and extreme environments. These challenges include:

  1. Isolation: BAS research stations are often located in the most remote and harsh environments of Antarctica, far from any infrastructure or support. This isolation makes traditional communication methods unreliable and slow.
  2. Extreme Weather Conditions: Antarctica experiences some of the most extreme weather conditions on Earth, with frigid temperatures, high winds, and heavy snowfall. These conditions can damage communication equipment and disrupt data transmission.
  3. Data-Intensive Research: Many of BAS’s research projects require the transmission of large amounts of data, such as satellite imagery and climate modeling data. Conventional communication systems struggle to handle such data loads in these extreme conditions.
  4. International Collaboration: BAS collaborates with research teams from around the world. Efficient communication is crucial for real-time data sharing and collaboration on international research projects.

“Connecting people at our bases and on the ship to the rest of the world has never been easier – Starlink has transformed communication for everyone at BAS. Having a consistently fast and reliable connection has opened avenues that were not possible before with older satellite technology, and working in remote, isolated areas is now so much easier and safer for everyone.

Faster speeds now possible with Starlink enables scientists to collect and deliver data more effectively and makes it easier for those in Antarctica to reliably stay in contact with friends and family.

Clarus continue to innovate and develop additional services that make managing our remote sites easier and more convenient, from at-a-glance updates to in-depth data mining and metrics.”

British Antarctic Survey

The Solution

To address these formidable challenges, BAS partnered with The Clarus Networks Group to extend Starlink Mobility connectivity to their research stations in Antarctica. This innovative solution ensures reliable, high-speed, and real-time data transmission even in the most remote and extreme environments. The solution includes:

  • Starlink Flat High Performance Antennas: These antennas are specifically designed to withstand extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain, and gale-force winds, providing a stable connection even in the harshest weather conditions.
  • Impressive Download/Upload Speeds: Starlink Mobility offers impressive download/upload speeds, making it suitable for handling the bandwidth-intensive data requirements of BAS’s research projects.
  • Low Latency: With low latency, researchers can conduct real-time communication and data transmission without delays.

The Results

Starlink Mobility’s state-of-the-art technology has significantly improved connectivity at BAS research stations, enabling real-time climate research, data sharing, and efficient data gathering despite the challenging Antarctic conditions.

Collaboration with international Antarctic research partners is significantly enhanced, expanding the reach and impact of BAS’s studies on topics such as ice shelf stability, sea-level rise, and marine predator monitoring.

The partnership supports BAS’s commitment to understanding and addressing the challenges posed by the rapidly changing polar regions and contributes to global scientific understanding.

BAS’s dedication to pioneering sustainable methods for data collection in polar regions is exemplified by testing alternative fuels and innovative technologies like the Windracers ULTRA RPAS at Rothera Research Station.

This collaboration between BAS and The Clarus Networks Group, alongside the deployment of Starlink Mobility technology, showcases their joint dedication to leveraging advanced technology for enhanced global connectivity and performance. By working together, they aim to harness the power of modern technological solutions to drive innovation and progress in their respective fields.

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