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Antarctic Support Contract

ISGS-ASC-McMurdo-2-460

Photo courtesy of Dwight Bohnet, National Science Foundation

Supporting scientific research on the highest, driest, coldest, windiest and emptiest place on Earth requires exceptional logistics and planning expertise.  A few of the unique challenges include managing the world’s longest supply chain, building airfields on ice and snow, working in the world’s worst weather conditions, and managing remote field camps, ice-breaking research vessels and the largest research stations and laboratories on the cold continent.

In 2011, Lockheed Martin was selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the prime contractor for the United States Antarctic Program (USAP).  The program enables universities, research institutions and other nation’s programs to conduct valuable scientific research in the region.

Lockheed Martin is working with NSF to implement a cost-effective, streamlined infrastructure for managing elements such as work stations, medical facilities, communications, transportation, shipping, emergency response, housing, food services, science support, environmental protection, research vessels, construction projects and remote field camp support.

NSF and the USAP have been an anchoring U.S. presence in Antarctica since 1956 through its active and influential scientific research program, supporting fundamental discovery research that can only be done there and studying the Antarctic and its interactions with the rest of the planet. The program goals include:  understanding the region and how its ecosystems depend on the polar environment; understanding its effects on (and responses to) global processes such as climate; and using the region as a platform for fundamental research in every scientific discipline.  Antarctica's remoteness and extreme climate make it a unique and natural laboratory environment.

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Palmer Station

Palmer Station as viewed from Torgersen Island. Credit: Peter Rejeck, National Science Foundation, cropped for size

The Nathaniel B. Palmer

Research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer in McMurdo Sound. Credit: Peter Rejeck, National Science Foundation, cropped for size

South Pole Station

A US Antarctic Program participant walks away from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Credit: Peter Rejeck, National Science Foundation, cropped for size

Deplaning at the South Pole

US Antarctic Program personnel deplane the LC-130 that brought them to the South Pole from McMurdo Station. The LC-130 aircraft are flown by the New York Air National Guard. Credit: Peter Rejeck, National Science Foundation, cropped for size

Supplying McMurdo

Cargo is offloaded at McMurdo Station. An annual vessel bring almost all of the food and cargo need for next year to McMurdo Station. Some of it is then transported later to the South Pole and various field camps. Credit: William Henriksen, National Science Foundation, cropped for size

McMurdo Station

An aerial view of McMurdo Station, which sits along the coastline of Ross Island, a volcanic island. Credit: Joe Harrigan, National Science Foundation, cropped for size

Palmer Station

Palmer Station as viewed from Torgersen Island. Credit: Peter Rejeck, National Science Foundation, cropped for size

Feature

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A Change of Seasons

Lockheed Martin and teammates recently supported the winter fly-in or “WINFLY,” an annual operation of the USAP, managed by NSF, to prepare McMurdo Station for the active Antarctic summer research season. Read More