Bel Antar 2018, Belgian Antarctica 2018 mission
In this article, Aquavitex takes you to Antarctica to present the BelAntar 2018 mission. This experiment, carried out by Belgians, took place at the Antarctic ice pack 200km away from the Belgian base “Princess Elisabeth”.
The scientific project in Antarctica.
The Antarctic Ocean is an ocean that plays a key role in managing the climate system. Indeed, if all the ice that currently covers Antarctica were to melt, it would cause a rise in sea level of almost 60m. With this in mind, the Antarctic ice is being monitored very closely.
The scientific project (Mass2Ant) aims to better understand one of the components of the Antarctic ice cap mass balance: snowfall and its accumulation at the surface.
During this campaign, the Bel Antar mission consists of several tasks. Firstly, the team will analyse the spatial distribution of snowfall over an entire region. This area is located between the Belgian Princess Elisabteh station and the coast. Then, the Belgian team will also observe the variations in weather conditions and describe the accumulation of snow in the inner layers of the Antarctic ice. To carry out this task, they will use radars. These will help them to analyse the properties of the snow, such as its density.
In order to recreate snow accumulation and climate changes over the past centuries, the BelAntar team is recovering ice cores. These new analyses will allow them to better understand and model past and present changes on the Antarctic ice cap. The aim of these observations will be to improve estimates of future changes.
The coring technique
The coring experiment took place in East Antarctica, on the Princess Ragnhild Coast. This region of Antarctica is located 200 km away from the Belgian Antarctic base Princess Elisabeth.
To be successful, this experiment is carried out in a drilling fluid, to guarantee the good quality of the cores collected. A drilling fluid is a liquid made up of several products that are perfect for the digging process. In addition, this liquid meets environmental requirements. During this mission, BelAntar used a liquid called ETISTOL. It attacks rubber very easily, eating it and dilating it. This is why the use of these products requires robust equipment that can withstand this type of liquid.
The use of the Aquavitex PVC apron with straps
It was in 2018 that the BelAntar team turned to Aquavitex to provide them with hard-wearing, waterproof aprons that could withstand the cold and the products used on site.
Aquavitex then suggested them the PVC apron with shoulder straps, as it consists of two layers of a double PVC coated polyester fabric. As a result, a wear layer will offer the professional extra protection against the risk of cuts and abrasions. Furthermore, the comfort of this product is the result of Aquavitex’s innovation. The shoulder straps are adjustable and cross over at the back. This means that the professional no longer has a sore neck and the apron does not pull on the back of the neck.
The apron is very easy to put on and is self-adjusting. It protects the user’s entire body and sides. The product can be easily removed thanks to a simple clip. The PVC surface dries quickly and is easy to clean.
The Aquavitex apron with straps has an inside pocket with flap. It is waterproof and practical and is ideal for holding various tools and a mobile phone. In addition, two small triangles are designed in the corner of the apron to keep the wind out of the way.
The feedback from the BelAntar team after using this apron in Antarctica has been very positive. It allowed them to carry out their mission in good conditions despite the use of aggressive products and extreme weather conditions.
Thank you to Jean-Louis TISON and his team for trusting Aquavitex to join them on this mission.
To find out more about their work, go to: https://www.bel-antar2018.be/.