The participants of the next 24th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition completed a week-long training on the basis of the low-frequency observatory of the Institute of Radio Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences, located in the Martove village, Kharkiv region. It is this observatory that measures in our latitudes those parameters of the atmosphere and the near space that are investigated at the Akademik Vernadsky station.
First of all, future polar explorers studied how the station is arranged and operates – from nutrition to fire extinguishing. They also trained to work with devices that are installed at Vernadsky. Another mandatory component of the training is theoretical studies. While in the expedition, each polar explorer is a representative of Ukraine on the icy continent, therefore he should be well aware of all the features of the legal status of Antarctica, the rights and obligations of scientists in the territory not belonging to any state of the world, the requirements of environmental legislation, etc.
During the training, the team was closely supervised by psychologists. This is necessary, because soon the participants will have to remain in isolation for the whole year. Specialists should identify possible “weak links” and give a timely advice on how to avoid a tension in a closed team. Conclusions made by psychologists after the training in Martove are very positive. “We have seen that all participants have high professional and individual qualities that are most suitable for teamwork in extreme conditions and isolation. These are strong, positive-minded individuals who can effectively co-operate while staying at the Antarctic station for a year”, – tells the NASC staff member Larysa Bakhmutova, who conducts continuous psychological studies of the condition of winterers on the eve, during and after expeditions.
In the view of the head of the future expedition, a well-known Lviv biologist Igor Dykyi, the training has proved that the 24thUAE promises to be a close-knit and effective team.
Winterers have a little less than a month to prepare for a trip – to complete a business, to stay with relatives and friends. They will depart to Vernadsky station at the end of March.