Ensure any equipment is suited for Antarctic operations

BAS uses, supports, and maintains a wide variety of instrumentation and computer systems. It is essential that any equipment used in Antarctica is robust, reliable and able to be maintained under Antarctic conditions. Attention to the detail of the design and construction of equipment is necessary to avoid very expensive down-time.

Most commercially manufactured hardware will operate in the laboratories and offices on Antarctic stations and ships. Some equipment will fail due to low humidity and high static fields; advice should be sought before purchasing equipment.

Prototype equipment and units manufactured on a one-off basis must be mechanically robust, electronically safe, and not cause interference with other systems. BAS will reject equipment that is electronically unsafe, or would potentially interfere with operational units already on base. If you have any queries regarding the suitability of your equipment, please contact the Antarctic Funding Office in the first instance.

Equipment must be thoroughly tested and trialled before despatch to Antarctica; the Antarctic is not a suitable place for developing instrumentation. Failure may have very costly and wasteful implications. Adequate spares and maintenance manuals are essential.

Equipment installed on BAS aircraft and ships is subject to additional constraints. Computers and other electrically powered hardware must be compliant with:

  1. The EMC Low Voltage and relevant EEC Directives
  2. CAA and/or marine industry standards
  3. BS standards for construction and installation

It is essential that any equipment installed on BAS ships and aircraft does not interfere with navigation equipment. A document is available describing the standards to be achieved for installing equipment on BAS aircraft.


To check whether any specialist equipment is suitable for use in Antarctica, please contact the Antarctic Funding Office at BAS (email: