The 41st Scientific Expedition launched by India reached the Indian Arctic Station last week; the team is led by the first batch of 23 scientists along with other support staff needed at the research station.
Four more following batches are scheduled to reach the area by air and MV Vasiliy Golovnin, a chartered Ice Class vessel, by the middle of the coming month of January 2022.
The expedition is divided into two major exploration schedules; the first part will handle the area’s geological study centered at the Bharati research station, while the second part consists of surveys & preparations to drill 500 mts core of ice near Maitri Research Station.
The scientists are hoping to understand the region’s climate, emitted greenhouse gases & the westerly winds from the research done by drilling; the ice core will act as an archive of the past 10,000 years, giving scientific evidence to the area’s geology.
The Norwegian Polar Institute, along with The British Antarctic Survey, will be in collaboration with the Indian team while drilling the Ice Core.
The expedition also will add & replenish supplies of food, provisions, spare parts of life support systems in case of maintenance in both the research stations Maitri and Bharati, as stated by officials of the Ministry of Earth Science.
The scientific crew will come to Cape Town on their return as planned in March or early week of April 2022, a team of 48 personnel will be left for the winter, but the preceding team of the earlier 40th expedition will come back with them.
The present 41st expedition is led by Dr Shailendra Saini, working with the National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research, Huidrom Nageshwar Singh working as a Meteorologist in the Indian Meteorological Department, Scientist Anoop Kalayil Soman from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism are among the others comprising the expedition team.
Nageshwar Singh is scheduled to lead the Team at Maitri Research Station, while Scientist Anoop Kalayil Soman will lead the team at the Bharati Research Station.
Indian expeditions to the Arctic began in 1981 & have completed 40 expeditions to date in these extremely tough climatic conditions; three permanent research centers have been set up over the period, Dakshin Gangotri in 1983, Maitri in 1988 & Bharati in 2012.
Maitri is about 100 km from the shore at 50 meters above sea level; its structure can support 25 personnel round the year; care has been taken to keep the station free from COVID 19 infections.