Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic

by Association Polarquest Vetted since 2017 Staff Favorite
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Polar expedition to free the oceans from plastic
Plastic jerrycan with polarbear bite 80North
Plastic jerrycan with polarbear bite 80North

Dear Donors,

Since the successful conclusion of the expedition, the Polarquest2018 team has been busy organizing dissemination events in Switzerland and Italy, taking part in TV shows and working on  TV documentaries, while our team of scientists has been analyzing the data from the scientific campaign in the Arctic. All these activities are featured on our latest report to GG donors last November, our website www.polarquest2018.org and related social media.

In the current report we have the pleasure of providing you with advance information about the scientific results of the campaigns carried out on board Nanuq during the Polarquest2018 expedition in the high arctic, up to the edge of the North Pole iceshelf, at the record latitude of 82°07'N.

- MEASURING COSMIC RAY SHOWERS NEAR THE NORTH POLE

The Polarquest2018 mission started on the 22nd of July 2018 from Isafjordur (Iceland) and ended on the 4th of September in Tromsø (Norway), after sailing for about 3500 NM. The POLA-01 cosmic ray detector, on board Nanuq, took data almost continuously, integrating at the end about 861 hours of data with a global efficiency of about 91%, with small breaks due to various reasons (main power down, difficult weather conditions, detector reset, etc.). POLA-02 and POLA-03 were functioning during the whole period, with essentially 100% efficiency. In total, more than 110000000 tracks per detector were collected. Data from POLA-02 and POLA-03 could be verified and analyzed online by the students in Nesodden and Bra. This was not possible with POLA-01 because an Internet connection was not available onboard. Instead, all data was regularly reconstructed and stored on Nanuq, checked by the scientist on board, and a small set of trending information was sent daily using a satellite phone to allow a more precise verification by the experts. Overall, the PolarquEEEst experiment successfully collected data on cosmic rays between 66° and 82° N latitudes, a region with, up to now, very few measurements AND UNEXPLORED ABOVE 79° LATITUDE N. The detector performed excellently, despite the tight constraints imposed by its integration inside a sailing-boat. The choice of involving high school students in this experience received great enthusiasm and interest and proved, once more, the success of the idea to combine a physics experiment with a science dissemination program, as done for the first time by the EEE project of Centro Fermi. All the data is presently stored at INFN-CNAF computer centre and is available also for all students in the standard EEE data repository, via web access.

READ THE FULL REPORT AND FIRST SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION HERE:

https://www.sif.it/static/SIF/resources/public/files/freetoread/sag34_5-6_free.pdf

Also attached CERN COURIER Article on these results.

- 3 D MAPPING OF UNCHARTED TERRITORIES ABOVE 80°N - AURORA PROJECT

The project (whose name stands for Accessible UAVs for Research and Observation in Remote Areas) consisted of a proof-of-concept of observations and geographical documentation in Arctic environments, conducted by low-cost drones, sensors and consumer-level software. Tests were carried out in different places, where specific survey and observation profiles could be tested. These spanned from qualitative observation and aerophotogrammetry, expeditive cartography, observations of landscapes in the thermal and near infrared. Attention was also paid to verifying the effectiveness of the equipment in documenting and story-telling Arctic environments. This was considered to be relevant in a region like Svalbard, currently in transition from being an anaecumenic context into being a space increasingly subject to settlement, usage and tourism. among the locations mapped:

- EXPEDITIVE AEROPHOTOGRAMMETRIC SURVEY OF VIRGOHAMNA, DANES ISLAND (DANSKØYA)
The place was the departure site for Andrée’s (1897) and Wellman’s (1906, 1907 and 1909) polar expeditions. Formerly a popular landmark for tourism, Virgohamna is now heavily protected and access to it is regulated. An expeditive aerial reconnaissance about the current state of the site was carried out by launching two drones from NANUQ.

- KAPP RUBIN AND NORD-KAPP - IDENTIFICATION ATTEMPT OF HISTORICAL CAIRNS
A series of drone flights was performed at both Kapp Rubin and Nord-Kapp in the attempt of spotting historical
“cairns” (small stacks of stones) associated to the Albertini expeditions (1928-1929) in both areas. Two cairns were
video-recorded on the top of Nord-Kapp. In the area between Nord-Kapp, Kapp Rubin and Kapp Platten, the
research group carried out extensive surveys by on-foot search, observation of the shores from a dinghy, and by
aerial view by drones.

- SURVEY OF ALPINI ISLAND (ALPINIØYA)
The “Isola degli Alpini” was officially discovered in summer 1928 by Italian Royal Army officer Gennaro Sora, of the Alpine Corps. He and fellow Arctic explorer Sief van Dongen were travelling through northern Svalbard in search for the survivors of airship ITALIA. Alpiniøya is a small rock formation. Although it is completely depopulated and visited very rarely, the island appeared cluttered with plastic debris and waste. The latter was present in considerable quantity and, for the most part,
it could be interpreted as deriving from fishing activities. This form of pollution has been observed by PolarQuest 2018 in a large majority of the land area visited during the expedition north and east of Svalbard.

See full report in the attached FULL EXPEDITION REPORT

- MICROPLASTIC AND PLASTIC SURVEY UP TO THE EDGE PF THE NORTH POLE

A floating microplastic sampling programme was carried out, both during the first leg of NANUQ’s voyage (Iceland-Greenland-Svalbard), and during the second (circumnavigation of Svalbard). The project was directed by the Institute of Marine Sciences of the CNR (ISMAR) under the supervision of Dr. Stefano Aliani. The observations on board of NANUQ were carried out by
two young operators, environmental activist Safiria Buono (age 19, Italy) and co-skipper Mathilde Gallinelli Gonzalez (age 22, Switzerland). MANTANET towed at low speed by NANUQ during a sampling operation. A sufficiently fine net can effectively
capture microplastic fragments. The samples were preserved on board (no fridge needed, thanks to temperature close to 0°C at all times) and transferred for laboratory analysis to allow for the study of the distribution and characteristics of this form of pollution. A graduate student has been identified to contribute to the samples analysis in the lab as of April as her Master's thesis subject. The following is the list of GPS coordinates where the sampling have been carred out:

78°53.73'N    11°16.46'E
79°29.19'N    10°36.96'E
80°33.63'N    20°26.26'E
82°06.90'N    25°31.27'E
80°13.45'N    27°57.77'E
79°37.53'N    26°40.90'E
78°32.68'N    23°09.36'E
77°18.45'N    8°02.97'E
67°26'N    23°19'W
69°28'N    22°47'W
71°51'N    0°27'W
70°43'N    21°13'W
71°08'N    20°09'W
71°53'N    16°40'W
72°57'N    12°52'W
72°57'N    12°52'W
73°18'N    11°35'W
74°07'N    09°05'W
75°26'N    02°46'W
75°53'N    00°33'W
76°23'N    03°45'E
76°23'N    03°45'E
76°50'N    07°14'E
77°17'N    10°49'E
78°58'92N    11°16.78'E
79°33,81'N    10°40.09'E
80°34'73N    20°53.36'E
82°05'49N    25°27.36'E
80°10'19N    27°57.33'E
78°27'76N    22°48.81'E
77°11'74N    17°47.46'E
82°05'08N    25°28.23'E
80°08'56N    27°52.98'E
78°28'81N    22°53.36'E
77°11'74N    17°47.46'E
77°38.760'N    10° 26.288'E
76°26.288'N    13°56.907'

In the meantime, both the project leader and the scientific expert have taken part in TV shows to spread information about the plastic pollution in the world oceans and encourage everyone to stop single use plastic NOW without waiting for official regulations. See extracts from the TV shows in the Polarquest2018 website/media gallery, at the following links:

- https://www.facebook.com/Polarquest2018/videos/2322644744453333/

- https://www.facebook.com/Polarquest2018/videos/389587384927594/

- https://www.facebook.com/Polarquest2018/videos/1197506710425704/

More on microplastics in a couple of months and thanks for your faithful support!

On behalf of the Polarquest2018 team

Paola Catapano

Sceince Journalist at CERN and Polarquest2018 project leader

Happy Polar Bear family
Happy Polar Bear family
Plastic beach in the Hgh Arctic (81N)
Plastic beach in the Hgh Arctic (81N)

Attachments:
Poster Exhibition Genova  Science Festival
Poster Exhibition Genova Science Festival

Dear donors,

As you might remember from our latest report sent on Aug 28, Polarquest2018 successfully completed the circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago on board sailboat Nanuq (60ft) on August 22, closing the loop in Isfjord, just outside Longyearbyen, where the Svalbard leg of the expedition had started on August 4, logging 1500 nautical miles (3500 since the expedition start in Iceland on July 22) and reaching the outer boundary of the ice shelf at 82°07' North at 16h50 UTC on August 13. In addition to its nautical feats, the expedition has scored remarkable achievements in all the scientific projects on board, focusing on microplastics in the sea, industrial pollutants in the air, and cosmic rays from outer space.

Since the successful conclusion of the expedition, we have been busy organizing a series of dissemination events in Switzerland and Italy and working on two TV documentaries, while our team of scientists is analyzing the data from the scientific campaign in the Arctic.Here’s a report summarizing these activities and giving information on what’s next.

EVENTS - Polarquest2018 public events aiming at engaging people in our extraordinary expedition and describing our scientific accomplishments.

1-    On Sept. 6, project leader Paola Catapano and chief cosmic ray scientist prof.  Luisa Cifarelli, President of of Centro Fermi presented Polarquest2018 in Rimini to 150 high school students selected to take part in the Italian Physics Olympics team.

2-    On September 26, prof. Luisa Cifarelli was invited to present the first results from the PolarquEEEst cosmic detector, which took data throughout the expedition on board sailboat Nanuq,  within the prestigious series of CERN colloquia (reserved to top scientists and Nobel Laureates)  in CERN’s Main Auditorium,  entitled Measuring Cosmic Ray Showers up to the North Pole.

3-    On Sept. 30th, project leader Paola Catapano was invited speaker at prestigious Wired Netfest in Florence to report about the expedition and the microplastic sampling in particular. See the recording of her presentation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BNLBNPParibas/videos/689486851432841/

4-    On October 1, the Polarquest sailing adventure was presented to the CERN Yachcting Club in Geneva by Peter Gallinelli, skipper, and Paola Catapano. The presentation focused on the circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago, the microplastics research and the exploration of yet uncharted shores and islands accomplished by the team on board Nanuq using commercial drones and thanks to the unprecedent lack of ice in the area. Other expedition members who were present answered the numerous questions from the audience.

5-    On Nov. 1the students from College Voltaire in Geneva, who assembled the PolarQuEEEst detector that travelled aboard Nanuq took part in the seventh edition of the cross-border symposium “Mon TPE/TM en 15 minutes” (“My project in 15 minutes”) at CERN. The students gave a presentation on their work with Polarquest, describing the overall scientific aims of the PolarquEEEst detector, how they approached its construction, and gave a summary of the successes of the expedition.

6-    On Nov 2 project leader Paola Catapano and chief scientist Luisa Cifarelli presented the expedition and its preliminary scientific results at the Genova Science Festival in front of more than 500 people

http://www.festivalscienza.it/site/home/programma/raggi-cosmici-al-polo-nord.html

7-    On Nov. 10 the voyage of Airship ITALIA was commemorated at the event “Ritorno al Polo Nord” in the Italian Navy Museum in La Spezia (Italy). The event featured talks by Italian and international researchers and historians, including Polarquest’s project leader Paola Catapano and geographer Gianluca Casagrande.

PHOTO EXHIBITION - “82°07 North”, an exhibition of photographs taken during the Polarquest2018 expedition, is now travelling since its inauguration at CERN on September 26. It features 33 beautiful photos conveying the spectacular Arctic environment all along Nanuq’s circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago, till the edge of the polar ice shelf.After a 10-day period at CERN in the Main Building, it has been on show at:

-       Collège Voltaire in Geneva (Oct. 15 – 23)

-       Genova Science Festival (Oct. 25 - Nov. 4)

http://www.festivalscienza.it/site/home/programma/8217607146-nord.html

-       The Italian Navy Museum in La Spezia (Nov. 9 -16)

Next destination: the Italian Airforce Museum and Umberto Nobile documentation Centre in Vigna di Valle (Rome) as of Nov. 27.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS - Two important events are coming up, where the Polarquest scientists and expedition leader will present to the press, academia, schools and partners the preliminary scientific results of the expedition:

on November 27 november   in Rome at the headquarters ofSocietà Geografica Italiana, with

- Gianluca Casagrande, on the geograhical observation tecniques and results obtained ;

 Peter Gallinelli, skipper ed expedition leader, on the sailing and exploration  miliestones;

-  Luisa Cifarelli, on the comsic rays observation

Stefano Aliani, marine biologist and oceanographer of CNR-ISMAR di Lerici, on the methodology and sampling plan of the microplastic project PolarQuest 2018;

Aleksandra Kruss, oceanographer (SMAR-CNR Venezia and NORBIT Subsea), on the research of the potential wreckage of the ITALIA airship and acustic imaging of the sea bottom in the Artcic

-       On November 28 In Museo Storico dell’Aeronautica Militare in Vigna di Valle (Bracciano Lake), Historical Workshop Storico  “90 years after Umberto Nobile’s Polar Expedition”, in collaboration with CNR, with speeches by Paola Catapano, Mike Struik, Gianluca Casagrande and the descendants of the Airship Italia crew.

 

PRESS COVERAGE -The press coverage has been extensive since the very start of the project, before during and after the expedition with press articles in prestigious dailies and magazines and live TV programmes. You can take a look at our media page: http://www.polarquest2018.org/media/

 

WHAT’S NEXT? MICROPLASTC SAMPLES ANALYSIS AND TV DOCUMENTARIES

Thanks to your support and to the dedication of its members, the Polarquest2018 team has managed to accomplish a lot in such a short time after the expedition, in spite of having to return to their regular jobs. Two major objectives arenow  coming up:

  • analyzing the microplastic samples, currently frozen in the Marine Biology laboratories of ISMAR/CNR in Lerici, La Spezia (Italy)
  • editing and translating the 52’ documentary recorded during the expedition.

As special partners in this endeavour, you can enjoy a private preview of a video demo at the following link, using password Nanuq:

https://vimeo.com/294914891

(not to be shared please!)

CALL FOR ACTION!!!  We are taking the great opportunity of Giving Tuesdayto ask you to support us and help us carry out the two remaining important objectives of Polarquest2018 on this special day. Your donation will be enhanced by the special campaign GlobalGiving has launched for GIVING TUESDAY. The Polarquest2018 team will be delighted to offer donors giving 100 USD and above a selection of our best picturesfrom this fantastic expedition in high resolution. Donors giving 1000 USD or more will benefit from special printsand will be thanked in the credits of our documentary(unless they wished to remain discreet).

Thank you for your continued support ad happy Giving Tuesday!

And follow us on Twitter/facebook @polarquest2018

Instagram: @scienceadventurers

Links:


Attachments:
Nanuq
Nanuq's route

Expedition achievements and highlights

On 22 August 2018, 21:30 local time Polarquest2018’s sailboat Nanuq has successfully completed the circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago closing the loop in Isfjord, just outside Longyearbyen, where the Svalbard leg of the expedition started on August 4, logging 1500 nautical miles and reaching the outer boundary of the ice shelf at 82°07 N at 16h50 UTC on August 13.

The sailing conditions were “exceptionally favorable, with absolutely no ice until very high latitude and only one gale with gusts up to 50 knots” – said Captain Peter Gallinelli, upon arrival. “More than weather and ice, the real challenge was a few very poorly or completely uncharted areas, especially on the East coast of the Nordaustlandet island, where we were often surprised by unmarked shoals and sailed inside completely uncharted fjords”. In addition to its nautical feats, the expedition has scored remarkable achievements in all the scientific projects on board.

A total of 30 microplastic sampling stations were carried out, with one at the record latitude of 82°07 N, right on the edge of the ice, by 19-year-old microplastic operator Safiria Buono. The samples will be analyzed by the Marine Institute (ISMAR) of CNR (National Research Council of Italy), but “one of the conclusions which can already be drawn from a simple visual check is that, even at these high latitudes, the quantity of macro plastic loitering the most remote and wildest beaches of our planet is astonishing” she says. “A piece of plastic was caught in the Mantanet even at 82°N!”. Frédéric Gillet, one of the scientists supporting the Mantanet sampling, also placed a PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) sensor 20 km south of Ny Ålesund, to measure their presence in areas distant from urbanized regions and understand the transfer and accumulation mechanisms of this powerful industrial pollutant, banned since the 1970’s in many countries, in the oceans and in the atmosphere. He will collect the sensor in 2020 for analysis by the University of Savoy, France.

The high latitude reached by Nanuq marks a record also for the PolarQuEEEst cosmic ray detector, assembled at CERN with the participation of school students and installed on board by physicists from Centro FERMI of Rome and INFN (The Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics). “We have a unique dataset of the cosmic ray flow at the highest latitudes ever reached at sea level”, says Ombretta Pinazza, physicist (INFN Bologna), “and we are now very excited to look for correlations with the two other identical detectors which are taking data in continental Norway and Italy. The area covered exceeds 5000 km2 and is the most effective to confirm the existence of cosmic showers generated by high energy radiation colliding with our atmosphere (EEE programme, Centro Fermi)”. In addition to contributing to understanding the origin of high energy cosmic rays, these correlations will also enable scientists to study how cosmic rays influence cloud formation and the correlation of Supernovae rate with climatic periods over 500 million years, thus contributing to a better understanding of climate change.

The objectives of the AURORA project conducted on board Nanuq by prof. Gianluca Casagrande of the European University of Rome and the Italian Geographical Society have been fully achieved. “Using our low-cost drones and citizen science sensors, we were able to carry out expeditive, high-resolution mapping and thermal and near-infrared observations of remote and scarcely visited areas all around the archipelago” says Casagrande. “Our tools proved effective both for scientific data acquisition and for communicating Arctic environments.” One of the surveys had a special symbolic value, as it produced, for the first time, a detailed 3-D rendering of Alpiniøya, the island discovered by Italian officer Gennaro Sora, who was in the area on his way to rescuing the survivors of the ITALIA airship crash in 1928.

Umberto Nobile’s polar expedition – Polarquest2018’s historical inspiration – was of course not neglected. On August 13, the area from where the first SOS message was radioed by ITALIA crew member Giuseppe Biagi from the Red Tent (81°14 Nm 25°25 E) was reached by Nanuq and a short ceremony was celebrated in the open Arctic Ocean by captain Peter Gallinelli, Polarquest2018 project leader Paola Catapano and geographer Gianluca Casagrande. Soon after, technical coordinator Mike Struik deployed an innovative 3-D multibeam sonar of NORBIT Subsea, for the search of any potential metallic wreck of the lost Airship, following the route considered to be one of the most likely search paths, based on Umberto Nobile’s indications after the crash. This is the first documented targeted attempt at locating the wreck of airship ITALIA in 90 years. The data collected with the beamer will be analyzed by Norbit Subsea and the results will be made available by the end of September. “It will be really exciting to see the data from the sonar, not just for the airship but because that area of the Arctic Ocean has never been sounded before and we will get precious information on its bathymetry” says Morten Stendhal, director of Norbit Subsea in Trondheim. “I still can’t believe that our POLARQUEST2018 has been so successful on 100% of such a varied interdisciplinary programme with zero margins and limited resources”, says project leader Paola Catapano. “Amazingly, everything worked at the first attempt.”

Polarquest Team arrives in Longyearbyen
Polarquest Team arrives in Longyearbyen

Links:

Polarquest2018  team returns in Longyearbyen
Polarquest2018 team returns in Longyearbyen

On 22 August 2018, 21:30 local time Polarquest2018’s sailboat Nanuq has successfully completed the circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago closing the loop in Isfjord, just outside Longyearbyen, where the Svalbard leg of the expedition started on August 4, logging 1500 nautical miles and reaching the outer boundary of the ice shelf at 82°07 N at 16h50 UTC on August 13. The sailing conditions were “exceptionally favorable, with absolutely no ice until very high latitude and only one gale with gusts up to 50 knots” – said Captain Peter Gallinelli, upon arrival. “More than weather and ice, the real challenge were a few very poorly or completely uncharted areas, especially on the East coast of the Nordaustlandet island, where we were often surprised by unmarked shoals and sailed inside completely uncharted fjords”.

                  In addition to its nautical feats, the expedition has scored remarkable achievements in all the scientific projects on board.

A total of 30 microplastic sampling stations were carried out, with one at the record latitude of 82°07 N, right on the edge of the ice, by 19-year-old microplastic operator Safiria Buono. The samples will be analyzed by the Marine Institute (ISMAR) of CNR (National Research Council of Italy), but “one of the conclusions which can already be drawn from a simple visual check is that, even at these high latitudes, the quantity of macro plastic loitering the most remote and wildest beaches of our planet is astonishing” she says. “A piece of plastic was caught in the Mantanet even at 82°N!”. Frédéric Gillet, one of the scientists supporting the Mantanet sampling, also placed a PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) sensor 20 km south of Ny Ålesund, to measure their presence in areas distant from urbanized regions and understand the transfer and accumulation mechanisms of this powerful industrial pollutant, banned since the 1970’s in many countries, in the oceans and in the atmosphere. He will collect the sensor in 2020 for analysis by the University of Savoy, France.

The high latitude reached by Nanuq marks a record also for the PolarQuEEEst cosmic ray detector, assembled at CERN with the participation of school students and installed on board by physicists from Centro FERMI of Rome and INFN (The Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics). “We have a unique dataset of the cosmic ray flow at the highest latitudes ever reached at sea level”, says Ombretta Pinazza, physicist (INFN Bologna), “and we are now very excited to look for correlations with the two other identical detectors which are taking data in continental Norway and Italy. The area covered exceeds 5000 km2 and is the most effective to confirm the existence of cosmic showers generated by high energy radiation colliding with our atmosphere (EEE programme, Centro Fermi)”. In addition to contributing to understanding the origin of high energy cosmic rays, these correlations will also enable scientists to study how cosmic rays influence cloud formation and the correlation of Supernovae rate with climatic periods over 500 million years, thus contributing to a better understanding of climate change.

The objectives of the AURORA project conducted on board Nanuq by prof. Gianluca Casagrande of the European University of Rome and the Italian Geographical Society have been fully achieved. “Using our low-cost drones and citizen science sensors, we were able to carry out expeditive, high-resolution mapping and thermal and near-infrared observations of remote and scarcely visited areas all around the archipelago” says Casagrande. “Our tools proved effective both for scientific data acquisition and for communicating Arctic environments.” One of the surveys had a special symbolic value, as it produced, for the first time, a detailed 3-D rendering of Alpiniøya, the island discovered by Italian officer Gennaro Sora, who was in the area on his way to rescuing the survivors of the ITALIA airship crash in 1928.

Umberto Nobile’s polar expedition – Polarquest2018’s historical inspiration – was of course not neglected. On August 13, the area from where the first SOS message was radioed by ITALIA crew member Giuseppe Biagi from the Red Tent (81°14 Nm 25°25 E) was reached by Nanuq and a short ceremony was celebrated in the open Arctic Ocean by captain Peter Gallinelli, Polarquest2018 project leader Paola Catapano and geographer Gianluca Casagrande. Soon after, technical coordinator Mike Struik deployed an innovative 3-D multibeam sonar of NORBIT Subsea, for the search of any potential metallic wreck of the lost Airship, following the route considered to be one of the most likely search paths, based on Umberto Nobile’s indications after the crash. This is the first documented targeted attempt at locating the wreck of airship ITALIA in 90 years. The data collected with the beamer will be analyzed by Norbit Subsea and the results will be made available by the end of September. “It will be really exciting to see the data from the sonar, not just for the airship but because that area of the Arctic Ocean has never been sounded before and we will get precious information on its bathymetry” says Morten Stendhal, director of Norbit Subsea in Trondheim.

I still can’t believe that our POLARQUEST2018 has been so successful on 100% of such a varied interdisciplinary programme with zero margins and limited resources”, says project leader Paola Catapano. “Amazingly, everything worked at the first attempt.

 

For photos and film requests, interviews and further information contact:

Maddalena Monge, Polarquest2018 Press officer

+39 348 76 33 188 maddalena.monge@gmail.com, polarquest2018@gmail.org

 Polarquest2018 has been made possible thanks to the following partners and sponsors:

 Elysia Capital, the crowdfunding platform Global Giving, Loterie Romande, and

The Dudley Wright Foundation ,Geneva.

 Research: Museo Storico e Centro e Ricerche Enrico Fermi, Rome, INFN, CERN, CNR, Université de Savoie, GREAL Università Europea di Roma, Società Geografica Italiana, and CRS4 Cagliari.

 Technology partners: NORBIT Subsea, B&G, Survitec, Drone Capture Systems, ALLIANZ, Advanced Tracking, HAMILTON Watches, Drift + Noise Polar Services, Fly-to-Discover, EWOL, Gréments Import, Weather Dock, and SPADE.

 Food providers: Marramiero Vini D’Abruzzo, BARILLA pasta, Eli Prosciutti Parma, Oleificio Andreassi Pescara, RODOLFI Pomodoro a Parma, and Caseificio Battistero Parma per il Parmigano Reggiano.

 Special Thanks to The Italian Arctic Research Station of CNR (National Research Council of Italy) “Dirigibile Italia”, in Ny Ålesund and the descendants of the crew of airship ITALIA.

Paola  during memorial ceremony at sea 81N, 25E
Paola during memorial ceremony at sea 81N, 25E
Nanuq
Nanuq's circumnavigation of Svalbard archipelago
The hatch containing the cosmic detector on Nanuq
The hatch containing the cosmic detector on Nanuq
Sampling microplastic on the edge of the iceshelf
Sampling microplastic on the edge of the iceshelf
3D drone model of Inglefieldbreen
3D drone model of Inglefieldbreen
Iceberg in the Greenland Sea
Iceberg in the Greenland Sea

Polarquest2018’s sailing vessel Nanuq arrives in Longyearbyen, Sptitzbergen.

Longyearbyen, 1 August 2018, … (CEST). After crossing the Greenland Sea for 10 days and exploring the southernmost part of the Svalbard archipelago, Polarquest2018’s self-sustaining sailboat Nanuq has arrived in Longyearbyen, the capital of Spitzbergen, according to plan. The crossing conditions were “almost optimal, except for some fog and lack of wind on the approach to the South coast of Spitzbergen” – said Captain Peter Gallinelli, upon arrival.

Time was different on the boat. No night, no day, no meal hours. Everything was at the rhythm of our shifts and all in U. T. (Universal Time),” said Safiria Buono (19) who carried out fifteen stations of microplastic sampling on behalf of the Marine Institute (ISMAR) of CNR (Italian Research Council). The most important part for sampling was between Greenland and Jan Mayen, where two ocean currents meet, creating an accumulation of microplastics, also called “garbage patches..

Ombretta Pinazza, physicist at CERN for INFN Bologna, together with physics student Alberto Rolandi (20) of EPFL Lausanne, have been making sure that the PolarQuEEEst cosmic ray detector takes data correctly. This detector was built at CERN and installed on board Nanuq under the coordination of Centro FERMI of Rome. The researcher has already managed to send some data samples to her colleagues on land using the Iridium satellite phone. “At times, we had to try eight times until it worked!” said Alberto.

The skipper and his international crew of sailors, scientists and communicators will now take a short rest in Longyearbyen and a well-deserved hot shower (no such facilities exist on board) before casting off again at noon on Saturday 4 August to Ny Alesund. There they will take part in the 90th anniversary commemoration of the ITALIA Airship polar expedition at the Italian Research Station “Dirigibile ITALIA”, managed by CNR, on Sunday August 5. Representatives from the families of the ITALIA Airship 1928 crew are flying to Longyearbyen on 4 August to take part in the commemoration.

Nanuq will finally cast off from Ny Alesund on 6 August to circumnavigate the archipelago and reach, for the first time in 90 years, the ITALIA crash site. While continuing its research programme, the Nanuq crew will also attempt to locate the ITALIA airship wreck under the sea North-East of Nordauslandet. For their search, they will use a new 3D multi-beam sonar developed by the Norwegian company NORBIT Subsea.

On Saturday 4 August at 11:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time), Polarquest2018 has organized a press event at the North Pole Exploration Museum with members of the Nanuq crew, representatives of the ITALIA Airship crew families, Prof. Gianluca Casagrande of the Società Geografica Italiana (who will embark on Nanuq in Longyearbyen to carry out a drone-based geographical exploration), and Tenente Colonnello Adelio Roviti of the Italian Airforce. The press event will be moderated by Polarquest2018 project leader Paola Catapano. Interested journalists and public can take part in person at the Museum or by joining the live on Polarquest2018’s facebook page.

For press registration in Longyearbyen, interview requests and information about the press event:

polarquest2018@gmail.org

info@northpolemuseum.com (+ 47 91 38 34 67 + 47 95 73 57 42)

Press officer Maddalena Monge +39 348 76 33 188 (maddalena.monge@gmail.com)

Polarquest2018 is made possible thanks to the following partners and sponsors:

Elysia Capital, the crowdfunding platform GlobalGiving, Loterie Romande, and

Fondation Dudley Wright Geneva.

Research: Museo Storico e Centro e Ricerche Enrico Fermi, Rome, INFN, CERN, CNR, Université de Savoie, GREAL Università Europea di Roma, Società Geografica Italiana, and CRS4 Cagliari.

Technology partners: NORBIT Subsea, B&G, Survitec, Drone Capture Systems, ALLIANZ, Advanced Tracking, HAMILTON Watches, Drift + Noise Polar Services, Fly-to-Discover, EWOL, Gréments Import, Weather Dock, and SPADE.

 Food providers: Marramiero Vini D’Abruzzo, BARILLA pasta, Eli Prosciutti Parma, Oleificio Andreassi Pescara, RODOLFI Pomodoro a Parma, and Caseificio Battistero Parma per il Parmigano Reggiano.

 Special Thanks to:

  • Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo da Vinci of Milan,
  • The North Pole Exploration Museum, Longyearbyen and Stefano Poli
  • The descendants of the airship crew ITALIA
  • RAI Uno – La Vita In Diretta Estate

for their precious collaboration.

In a Fjord south of Svalbard,  by Safiria Buono
In a Fjord south of Svalbard, by Safiria Buono
Untouched Svalbard Landscape by Mike Struik
Untouched Svalbard Landscape by Mike Struik

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Association Polarquest

Location: Meyrin, Geneva - Switzerland
Website:
Project Leader:
Paola Catapano
Meyrin, Switzerland
$78,552 raised of $95,000 goal
 
630 donations
$16,448 to go
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