Photo exhibition advertisement in Cagliari
we've been silent for quite some time and for reason: the last months, the whole team has been busy not just continuing with our relentless and successful communications. We ve been reaping the first results from our scientific projects on board Nanuq during the Polarquest2018 expedition! Here's an overview of the activities.
Our intern Valeria, Biology student at Milano Bicocca University concluded her work at the Marine Biology lab of CNR (one of Polarquest2018’s scientific partner) in Lerici, La Spezia (Italy) under the supervision of microplastic expert and lab director Stefano Aliani last September. The first results of the scientific analysis are summarized in an article Aliani, Valeria and myself wrote for a dedicated publication by Springer, Mare Plasticum, which we share with you exclusively, before the book publication, in the attachment. Please keep it for yourself and do not share until the book is published! In the meantime, data interpretation is being finalized for a more in depth specialized publication.
Polar Drones - AURORA (Accessible UAVs for Research and Observation in Remote Areas)
Two important scientific papers have been submitted for publications by our geographer on board, Dr. Gianluca Casagrande, of the Geographic Research and Application Laboratory (GREAL) of the European University of Rome, and in charge of observations and surveys during the expedition. The first two papers focus on Virgohamna, a historical site on the northern side of Danskøya (the Danes Island) approximately at coordinates 79°43’39”N, 10°53’58”E, in the straits separating the island from Amsterdamøya (Amsterdam Island), at the Northwestern extremity of the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. The two islands are depopulated to this day and rarely visited by ships and expeditions, mostly for tourism. The strait between them is up to 3 kilometers wide; the area has always been considered a safe one for ships in case of bad weather and for the establishment of advanced camps during polar expeditions. During Polarquest2018, NANUQ stopped in the bay, in front of the beach on the south-western edge of Virgohamna. The place is of special historical interest as it is associated with exploration endeavors which were to start, end or to have crucial moments there since 1896, when a Swedish ship called Virgo was visiting the Northwestern area of Svalbard in search for an appropriate location to establish a base, which they found in what was until then called Houcker Bay by trappers and whale hunters. From that moment on, the place would have been called “Virgo Bay”. The bay is also famous for hosting the Swedish rescuers base during the ITALIA airship wreck and that is where Umberto Nobile was flown by his Swedish rescuer Lundborg in 1928, before being transported to Kings Bay.
The stop-over of PolarQuest 2018 in the area had the primary purpose of conducting an expeditive survey, testing an innovative methodology based on the use of small drones for aerial imagery. The intended result was to map some known traces of expeditions which had used the place between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of 1900s. “Raw data” useful to study other geo-historical or archaeological phases, along with the general environmental status of the site, were also acquired. The papers resulting from this 3-D drone survey are specifically focused on the Swedish Andrée Polar Expedition of 1896-1897, probably the most famous attempt of reaching the North Pole which was ever carried out from Virgohamna.
The first paper is currently under the second referee stage for publication in the Official Bulletin of Società Geografica Italiana; the second is at the first referee stage for publicationin the "Geographica" University Press booklet series, and will be circulated also on platforms such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu.
The cosmic ray detector PolarquEEEst
First results from the data analysis were publish on the specialized journal Proceedings of Science. Here’s a short summary of results. Full paper downloadable on the Centro Fermi website: https://eee.centrofermi.it/research/pubblicazioni
Conclusions fromPellegrino C. et. al. (EEE Collaboration), First results from PolarquEEEst, PoS (ICRC 2019) 371.
During the summer 2018, the PolarQuest 2018 expedition on board sailboat Nanuq sailed from Iceland and circumnavigated the Svalbard archipelago reaching a latitude of 82_070, close to the crash point of the Italia airship and ended its voyage on September 4th in Tromsø (Norway) hosting several scientific programs. The PolarquEEEst experiment measured the cosmic rays flux using a specifically designed detector up to latitudes poorly studied. The experiment took place within the “Extreme Energy Events: Science inside Schools” project of the “Museo Storico e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi”. Three identical detectors were built by a team of high-school students and located at three different latitudes to simultaneously measure the cosmic radiation. The detectors operated almost continuously for 45 days, collecting about 100 million tracks each. Then, a measure campaign using the POLA-01 detector started, covering a wide range of European latitudes, from 35_ in the Italian island of Lampedusa to 52_ in Hannover, Germany. At the moment, three POLA detectors, POLA-01, POLA-03 and POLA-04 are taking data close to the scientific area of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, for a long-term measure campaign. An analysis has been performed on the collected data as reported in the present work, and the results are in good agreement with the Lemaitre-Vallarta’s curves and the Compton’s.
The PolarquEEEst data were also the subject of a “Maturité” (swiss High School degree) scientific work by Tania Rosset, one of the students who assembled the detector at CERN in May 2018. See our dedicated piece of news for more details: http://www.polarquest2018.org/muon-detection-interview-with-tania/
COMMUNICATIONS …HASN ‘T STOPPED… as usual!
Here’s a brief summary of the main highlights.
- After a halt in Ostia during the Estate Romana at the plastic free Festival Plastica d’Amare https://plasticadamare.it/ , our photographic exhibition 82°07’ North is currently on display in Cagliari, Sardinia, at the Fondazione Sardegna, here’s the fb event: https://www.facebook.com/events/488463605038541/
- Our TV documentary, Polarquest, broadcast on Ushuaia TV France various times from Dec to March, won two more prizes! The sustainable tourism and ecologyprize at the Deauville Film Festival and the Maritime Film Festival, USA, (https://www.maritimefilmfestival.com/ ) Laurel.
- Polarquest2018 expedition members were invited t give public presentations of the Polarquest adventure in Cuneo (June, Paola and Mike), Erice and Marsala, Sicily (Gianluca, August), Gran Sasso Science Institute in L’Aquila (Paola, September)and Palermo (Roberto, October). Some of these events are featured in our news section on the website: http://www.polarquest2018.org/category/news/?orderby=date&order=desc
And more is coming up soon, with the projection of our documentary at CERN’s Globe of Science and Innovation on November 19:
We are deeply grateful for your generosity and support without which most of our achievements wouldn’t have been possible!
With our warmest thanks on behalf of the entire team!
Polarquest2018 project leader
Tania Rosset presented Polarquest data at Maturite