British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, United Kingdom
Data Center Description
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council. Based in Cambridge UK, it has, for almost 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain's scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. It now shares that continent with scientists from around thirty countries.
BAS employs over 400 staff, and supports three stations in the Antarctic, at Rothera, Halley and Signy, and two stations on South Georgia, at King Edward Point and Bird Island. The Antarctic operations and science programmes are executed and managed from Cambridge, and rely on a wide-ranging team of professional staff.
Ice-strengthened ships sustain the Antarctic operations. RRS James Clark Ross has advanced facilities for oceanographic research. RRS Ernest Shackleton is primarily a logistics ship used for the resupply of stations. The Royal Navy's Ice Patrol Vessel HMS Endurance has helicopters and provides valuable logistic support. Four Twin Otter aircraft fitted with wheels and skis are operated from Rothera and Halley, while a wheels-only Dash-7 aircraft provides the inter-continental air-link from Rothera to the Falkland Islands, and flies inland to blue ice runways.
The BAS research programme is planned on a five-year timetable. The current programme is described in the booklet Antarctic Science in the Global Context, 2000-2005 . The programme was based on proposals from staff. After international peer review, the most highly rated were integrated into the Survey's infrastructure capability. The outcome is a suite of nine programmes complemented by projects in the medical and environmental sciences and independent research activities. In addition the competitive Antarctic Funding Initiative provides access to Antarctica for BAS and NERC staff and the university community.