The next stage of modernization has been carried out at Vernadsky: what has changed?

The next stage of modernization has been carried out at Vernadsky: what has changed?

Reconstruction of slips and renewal of water supply and grounding systems – important modernization works were carried out at Vermadsky station; they were started even before the full-scale war.

They were performed by a technical team of five specialists – Anatolii Andreiev (team leader), Volodymyr Khrapach, Oleg Ganzha, Vadym Neshko, Yurii Shovkaliuk. This team was part of a seasonal expedition and worked in the Antarctic from December 2023 to April 2024.

In particular, our specialists completed the following key tasks:

  •  completely replaced the main slip, built during the British period. Previously, it was a wooden deck that sloped down to the water at an angle; it was quite easy to slip and fall on it.
    The lower part of the slip, which was in contact with the water, was constantly damaged by the tides and had to be repaired. The supports and support beams needed to be replaced for a long time.

    The new berth has become more convenient, safer and more reliable. Now it consists of several flat decks arranged in a cascade, with steps. This design not only significantly reduced the risk of injury, but also significantly increased the usable area, in particular, for storing boats. At the same time, a folding emergency pier sloping down to the water at an angle was set up nearby. With its help, polar explorers will be able to pull boats ashore if the crane suddenly stops working.

  • finished the reconstruction of the additional jetty, which was broken by the storm. Most of the work was completed last season, and now this project has been completely finalized. Support structures were built on reinforced beams installed last year, the jetty jutting was increased, and a wall was built to protect the main supports from icebergs. Also, for the first time, portable lighting support for jetty was manufactured and installed.
  • replaced the internal system of cold and hot water supply, which underwent las major repairs in 1994. Then there was only maintenance with different mounting technologies, so different materials and methods of connection were found in different areas. This significantly reduced the reliability of the entire system. Some of the communications were generally located in building constructures, so it was impossible to even visually assess its condition. Already during the work, a large number of pipes with corrosion were discovered.
    Due to the complete replacement of systems, it was possible to minimize the risk of emergency situations. In addition, the new water supply scheme (with additional shut-off valves) will allow parts of the system to be disconnected during repairs in the future.
  • completed a new grounding system for the main and auxiliary buildings of the station. The previous one was obsolete, failed in some areas, did not provide adequate protection and was not designed for the level of electric load that is now at the station. Technical experts completed the installation of the grounding “field”, installed new grounding bars to the crane, boiler room, diesel room, art object “House. Memories” and separately to the equipment of server room.

“We have completed all the major works planned for this season. We left the station with confidence that the next year of wintering for our polar explorers will take place in safer and more comfortable conditions, with less risk of unpleasant surprises from the station’s life support systems,” noted Anatolii Andreiev.

A number of other works were also performed, in particular, supports were installed for various research projects, boxes of external water supply systems were repaired, the fuel terminal was cleaned, etc.

We remind you that the large-scale modernization of Akademik Vernadsky station started at the beginning of 2019 for the first time since Ukraine received it from Great Britain (1996).

Photo: Yu. Shovkaliuk, Yu. Kryvytska