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Innovative transportable laboratories for polar science

  • Liesbeth H.W. Noor (a1), Dick A. van der Kroef (a1), David Wattam (a2), Michael Pinnock (a2), Ronald van Rossum (a3), Marck G. Smit (a4) and Corina P.D. Brussaard (a5)...
Abstract

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the British Antarctic Survey have built a transportable laboratory facility, named the Dirck Gerritsz Laboratory, to accommodate new scientific research on and from the western Antarctic Peninsula. The design provides a flexible, modular, plug-and-play, innovative and sustainable laboratory setup. The docking station houses four 20-foot ISO standard high-cube containers, each of which contains a different laboratory. Special technological features were used to minimise the environmental impact. The four laboratory containers are flexible and can be installed and used as required, and renewed or removed when necessary. The container laboratories have provided, since opening in 2013, enhanced facilities for global climate change research through studying the community composition of phytoplankton; the ecological impact of virus-induced mortality in different phytoplankton groups; dimethylsulphide and brominated compound fluxes; and CO2 concentrations and trace elements in sea water. Transportable research laboratory facilities provide an effective and efficient approach for undertaking scientific research in challenging environments and might be the start of a new way of undertaking research, including exchanging laboratory modules between research stations in Antarctica.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
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