The Vernadsky Research Base is one of Antarctica’s longest running scientific centres and has been widely recognised for its contribution to our understanding of climate change.
Ran by the Ukrainian education and science ministry after taking over from the United Kingdom in 1996, the base hosts about a dozen winterers. For about ten months at a time, they endure extreme isolation and sub-zero temperatures.
Whether undertaking expeditions into the Antarctic wilderness or conducting research on penguin populations to the effects on the atmosphere from radiation and gases, the base’s personnel work year-round to maintain the station and report back important findings.
Staying connected in sub-zero isolation
The need for satellite-based internet connectivity in remote locations like Antarctica is crucial to the base for scientific activities and crew welfare. There isn't a town within 1,000 nautical miles of the base, so the ability to contact the world beyond the base is essential.
It's not feasible for the continent to connect to the fibre grid as the cable would not survive the freezing temperatures. Therefore, Antarctica relies on satellite technology to allow individuals to connect to the internet.
That's why The National Antarctic Scientific Center (NANC), based at Vernadsky Research station, connected to the neXat platform. The platform acts as a capacity aggregator and PaaS, and is enabling the base to benefit from the same functionality of a teleport, but without the need to install a physical presence – which often has a high CAPEX.
This functionality allows for an easier route to connecting to the internet and better performing connectivity. In addition, neXat is offering the base tailored services and will allow the operators at the NANC to be more flexible with their connectivity options.
The neXat platform is allowing scientists monitoring the ozone hole and water ecosystem at the Ukrainian research base to have better access to connectivity options.
Keeping critical work connected
The NANC is responsible for the development and implementation of research programs in Antarctica and to ensure further development of the Vernadsky Research Base. It also conducts interdisciplinary research in the field of environmental protection.
Thanks to neXat, scientists at the Ukrainian research base in Antarctica are able to monitor the signal levels, real-time traffic, service outages and network issues of its satellite connectivity.
The research complex of the station allows the implementation of comprehensive monitoring of environmental parameters in Antarctica at all levels of the geosphere – from the tectonosphere to geospace.
Proof of neXat’s globality
The adoption of the neXat platform is not only beneficial for the research, but also for the welfare of the scientists. For most, the Antarctic is a world away from their day-to-day life at home, and by having better connectivity, they are able to stay in touch with loved ones and bring some normality to the unique Antarctic experience.
“We're delighted to be helping the NANC to continue its crucial work in Antarctica. This project is a big step for neXat and serves as proof that our platform is not constrained by locality and can offer services completely independent of a teleport's location,” said Michele Ceragioli, Senior VP Global Solutions Enterprise at neXat.
“Typically, only the biggest operators can usually offer these services in a remote location like the geographical poles. Because of the range of teleports and satellites available through the neXat platform, choosing connectivity options is as simple as using Google for our customers – they can look to see if the area of their interest is covered by one of the satellites in our fleet and the job is done,” added Michele.