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Australian Antarctic research well underway

A resupply mission to Mawson base has been diverted due to thick sea ice conditions."

Antarctica is the most remote and inhospitable continent on Earth, home to extensive mountain ranges, frozen expanses and a selection of research bases operated by several countries.

Research is already well underway with the start of the Antarctic summer, as base personnel venture out onto the sea ice to conduct ocean acidification research.

This experiment has taken a number of weeks to establish, as equipment needed to be laid across the sea floor - obviously quite difficult with ice located above.

The research, once completed, should shed light on exactly how carbon dioxide impacts plants and animals living on the sea floor. There's no denying that such research is extremely useful - even with difficult working conditions.

"It's a real testament to the team's determination and dedication that we've managed to get the experiment up and running despite all the difficulties Antarctica can throw at you," Project leader Dr Jonny Stark explained.

He noted that the team had to drill through three metre thick ice in O'Brien Bay - ice that had been building up for years.

"The divers then had to manhandle the two-metre long acrylic chambers as well as dozens of metres of pipes, tubes and thrusters through the ice and into position without disturbing the area."

The equipment will now run for eight weeks, with carbon dioxide-heavy sea water being pumped through underwater chambers.

This is critical research given that the Southern Ocean is a large absorber of carbon dioxide, presenting a real danger to underwater habitats when acidification begins.

Interconnect Systems has a comprehensive background in aerospace and defence engineering, being an industry leader for more than 20 years. It provides electrical interconnect products and solutions, including cable and wire harness manufacture.

For more information on the best backshells and cable harness solutions, contact Interconnect Systems today on 1800 812 214.

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