The new development, funded by the Alfred Wegner Institute (AWI), is built on stilts that rise six metres above the surface of a 200-metre thick ice crust. The 1,850 square metre modern facility will replace the old research station, which is slowly disappearing underneath almost 12 metres of snow and will have to be abandoned within the next few years.
The permanently occupied research station will house several dozen scientists during the summer months, and nine staff members during the merciless arctic winter months. Scientists there will continue long-term measurements in meteorology, geophysics and atmospheric chemistry, as well as whale observations. They will also establish new research projects for the next 25 to 30 years.
The inaugural ceremony will be broadcast live to Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan in Berlin at 12:30 pm on Friday.