The Belgian Antarctic Station: First wind tunnel testing at the von Karmann Institute

The Belgian Antarctic Station is conceived as a prototype to achieve the minimum environmental impact and the highest efficiency in the use of energy resources and waste management, fundamental issues of the Antarctic Environmental Protocol. At the same time the design concept will be such that the ambient conditions have the least impact on the operation of the base. As a result two major design drivers are aerodynamics and energy.

The former deals with the efficiency of the building to control snowdrift, vibrations, wind loading, noise, etc, while the latter deals with everything that has to do with the efficient use of energy (heat transfer, renewable energy systems, waste management, etc).

All these interrelated aspects are the subject of the current design phase. Last week's preliminary tests in the wind tunnel were performed. These tests proved successful in validating the snow accumulation simulation method to be used with the to scale models of the base.