Five years at Princess Elisabeth Antarctica

To celebrate Princess Elisabeth Antarctica's fifth birthday, we've put together this gallery of images that look back on five years of innovation and hard work. Starting with the construction of the station, following its pre-assembly in Brussels, the photographs also illustrate the science carried at the station and the logistics and support operations provided to them.

  • Pre-assembly in Brussels

    Pre-assembly in Brussels

    Pre-assembly of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica at Tour & Taxis, Brussels, in September 2007. More than 30,000 people came to see the station in just three days.

    © International Polar Foundation

  • Metal Struts

    Metal Struts

    The metal struts that support Princess Elisabeth Antarctica await the installation of the base of the main building.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Wooden structure

    Wooden structure

    The wooden structure that is integral to the main building at Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • The outer layer

    The outer layer

    Modules arriving to complete the station's outer layer.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Solar panels

    Solar panels

    Installing the photovoltaic solar panels on the main building of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Aerial view of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica

    Aerial view of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica

    Aerial view of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica on top of the Utsteinen ridge. Solar panels, wind turbines and the sattelite dish are all clearly visible.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Inauguration of the station in Antarctica on the 15th of February 2009

    Inauguration of the station in Antarctica on the 15th of February 2009

    Inauguration of the station in Antarctica on the 15th of February 2009, in the presence of Ministers Sabine Laruelle and Pieter de Crem.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Microorganisms thrive around the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    Microorganisms thrive around the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    Microorganisms thrive around Princess Elisabeth Antarctica. The aim of the BELDIVA project is to explore the microbial diversity within a 200 km radius around the station.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Measuring ice cores

    Measuring ice cores

    Jean-Louis Tison (ULB) measuring an ice core during the BELARE 2010-2011 expedition.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • SAMBA and MICROMETA

    SAMBA and MICROMETA

    SAMBA and MICROMETA: By collecting and studying ice-preserved meteorites, scientists participating in these international research projects hope to better understand the evolution of the solar system and the planets.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • BELATMOS

    BELATMOS

    BELATMOS observes the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica with the aim of monitoring ozone and related trace gases, UV radiation and aerosol particles.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • DELAQUA

    DELAQUA

    DELAQUA project: by using biological indicators (pigments and organic material in lake sediment cores) scientists aim to assess the impact of climate and environmental changes on Antarctic organisms.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • HYDRANT

    HYDRANT

    HYDRANT aims at investigating the atmospheric part of the Antarctic hydrologic cycle from moisture evaporation and cloud formation to snowfall.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • GIANT

    GIANT

    The GIANT project combines GPS data, gravimetry and seismology techniques to trace horizontal and vertical deformations of the Earth’s surface with the aim of studying the relation between these and the ice mass variations.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • German scientists from BGR

    German scientists from BGR

    German scientists from the BGR project at the Alfred Wegener Institute carried out a geological investigation of the area around Princess Elisabeth Antarctica to find signs of the Gondwana formation ~500 million years ago, and of its break-up, ~180 million years ago.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Bad weather

    Bad weather

    Bad weather during a traverse from the coast to Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Bassler DC3

    Bassler DC3

    Bassler DC3 aircraft landing at Utsteinen, near Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Going Mobile

    Going Mobile

    Mobile labs and accommodation containers are used for long scientific missions in the field, far away from Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Scouting for crevasses

    Scouting for crevasses

    Scouting for crevasses and securing the way is a job for field guides when in the field.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • Unloading operations

    Unloading operations

    Unloading operations are amongst the most test tasks during the season at Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert

  • A convoy of Prinoth tractors

    A convoy of Prinoth tractors

    A convoy of Prinoth tractors during one of the 200km traverses from Princess Elisabeth Antarctica to the coast.

    © International Polar Foundation - René Robert