Imagine the world’s largest, windiest, and driest desert — with wind chills reaching averages of −80 °C (−128 °F) even in 24 hours of sunlight, and a landscape that appears to be made up entirely of shimmering diamonds. This is Antarctica. The last unconquered and unclaimed bastion of the natural world spanning 14,000,000 square kilometres (5,400,000 square miles).
Now try to imagine trekking across 600 miles of that beautiful yet unforgiving landscape all in the name of scientific and environmental research. Except, there’s a kicker — it’s all being done using only renewable energy technology.
Enter Robert and Barney Swan, father and son team who are taking on their epic South Pole Energy Challenge in 2017 to trek across 600 miles from Union Glacier to the South Pole relying solely on renewable energy technologies for survival. But first they will need to test out that very technology in the harsh antarctic conditions.
Beginning December 4th, Robert and Barney will be leading the IAE 80º South Expedition team on an adventure to Antarctica to put this tech to the test, and to explore the unique continent of Antarctica while discussing the preservation of the last untouched place on earth.
And it will all be documented.
For the expedition, Calvert has partnered with Robert Swan and his organization 2041, and is sending Mark Leisher of Media4Green to document the adventure with 4K video cameras, drones, and 360 VR cameras. Mark will be bringing the experience to life capturing the breathtaking beauty of Antarctica, the environmental impact of damage to polar caps from climate change, and the mission at hand to raise awareness and inspire global initiates to preserve Antarctica. And preserve the planet.
While trying to stay warm of course.
The team will first meet in Punta Arenas Chile where they will be going over last minute preparations and details before embarking on the 4 1/2 hour flight across the Drake Passage. The IAE 80º South team will land near the base of the Ellsworth Mountains on Union Glacier, a naturally occurring blue-ice runway, which they will call home for he duration of the expedition.
From Union Glacier Camp, the team will head out on daily excursions into the untamed Antarctic landscape to experience the last pure wilderness on earth. Over 6 days they will be experiencing the essence of Antarctica from fascinating ice shelves to majestic mountain peaks and blue ice tunnels carved by the wind.
During their time at camp, NASA and representatives from renewable energy companies will be presenting and testing the revolutionary technologies that Robert and Barney will be using on their 2017 journey, and discussing initiatives that are crucial to creating an environmentally conscious and sustainable mindset for the world.
“If alternative fuel sources can work in the most inhospitable place on the planet, they can work anywhere,” – Robert Swan
The IAE 80º South team will embark December 4th and will have little communication for that week, but stay tuned for updates here while we discuss some of the challenges that will be faced documenting the expedition and the tech Mark is using to capture Antarctica. Follow Media4Green and the IAE 80º South adventure on our Instagram and Facebook.