Professors Julián Rodríguez Ferreira and Efrén Darío Acevedo Cárdenas will travel next Thursday, January 25 from Bucaramanga to Antarctica to join the team of scientists that will work for two months on the white continent as part of the Expedition that Colombia carries out every year in the south of the planet.
In this expedition 18 projects will be developed, among which stations will be established to study oceanographic variables and the behavior of the sea level; hydrographic data will be collected to update the nautical charts in Antarctica, which are at the service of the national and international community. We will also address the problem of microplastics in the Gerlache Strait, evaluating their toxicity and environmental risks, among other studies.
UIS professors will continue with the project ‘Characterization of electromagnetic emissions of radio frequency interference and tests of a radio telescope (100MHz) as inputs for the validation of the assembly site of a radio astronomical base in the Antarctic Peninsula’, which aims to detect a cosmological signal, very close to the origin of the universe to understand how was the relationship of the first stars formed with the interstellar medium.
“It is an opportunity that very few people have. We will go in continuation of the project in radio astronomy that we carried last year. In 2023 we reviewed the quality of the sites to do the science we want and now after verifying the results we will go with a radio telescope that receives and studies the radio signals emitted by the universe, which will allow us to make the measurement and observation on the white continent,” said Rodriguez Ferreira, who is attached to the School of Electrical, Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering (E3T).
The first expedition was carried out in 2014-2015 and its purpose was to materialize the objectives of Colombia in Antarctica and maintain a permanent presence on that continent, which is why the 2024 expedition is special as it marks a decade of intense work in this place and there the UIS has been present with a project made entirely by professors and students of the University.
“I want to transfer all my experience in this expedition, for me it is an honor to be there making measurements in Antarctica, and it is a reward for what I have done in life as a professional, it fills me with pride and is a personal satisfaction,” said Acevedo Cardenas.
Another novelty in this 2024 is that the researchers will go on the ARC Simon Bolivar ship, there they will make the Antarctic crossing through the Drake Passage, which is the stretch of sea that separates South America from the ‘white continent’ and are the most turbulent waters of the planet.
All this will be done in the company of the Colombian Navy and the Chilean Navy, so they have all the security of the case.
This vessel is the largest ever built in Colombia by the Corporación de Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo de la Industria Naval y Marítima Colombiana – COTECMAR (Science and Technology Corporation for the Development of the Colombian Naval and Maritime Industry). It is 83 meters long (length), 16 meters wide (beam), 7.2 meters depth and a draft of 4.2 meters.
It provides technical and scientific support to the work of the General Maritime Directorate – Dimar, both in the Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific Ocean, and also has polar capabilities to make trips to the white continent, in compliance with the objectives of the International Antarctic Treaty to which Colombia adhered in 1988.
The Colombian Antarctic Program is coordinated by the Colombian Ocean Commission, an intersectoral advisory, consultation, planning and coordination body of the National Government in matters of National Ocean and Coastal Space Policy and its various related strategic, scientific, technological, economic and environmental issues related to the sustainable development of the Colombian seas and their resources.
This promotes the national interest and the effective presence of the country in Antarctica, as well as the dynamic and influential participation in the decisions taken within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), taking into account that in 1989 Colombia adhered to said Treaty.
Within its vision, the Colombian Ocean Commission plans to incorporate the country’s oceans in an efficient and sustainable manner to national development and the well-being of Colombians by 2035.
Follow the social networks of the Universidad Industrial de Santander, through which you will be informed in a timely manner about the process that UIS researchers will live in Antarctica.