Before Its Gone expedition all female team of scientists

AST Networks sponsors all-female team of climate scientists attempting 110km ski expedition to the North Pole

10/2/23 | 3 minute read

AST Networks is a key sponsor of the Before Its Gone expedition to the North Pole. An all-female team of scientists will ski 110km across sea ice to collect vital data and samples to better understand climate change.

Key Facts

• The team will be provided with Iridium satellite handsets and bespoke airtime plan so they can stay in touch with each other, monitor the weather and contact home base throughout the mission. This will be an essential tool for navigation and help ensure their safety in the event of an emergency.

• The expedition will be completed in just 10 days in April 2023.

• The team are searching for samples that contain evidence of black carbon and microplastics, which are both key markers of the impact humans are having on the world's most remote and inhospitable locations.

Applied Satellite Technology Ltd Networks (AST Networks) is delighted to sponsor the Before Its Gone (BIG) North Pole Expedition, a sea ice research expedition to the top of the world in April 2023. An all-female team of scientists will ski approximately 110km to collect samples and vital data on how climate change is affecting the Arctic – before it's too late. The team will communicate and send updates back to base using satellite communication handsets and airtime provided by AST Networks.

Worldwide connectivity

AST Networks is proud to help combat climate change by sponsoring this expedition to collect data and samples. The journey will be made by ski across constantly moving sea ice that makes navigation difficult and treacherous. The team may have to traverse bands of ice rubble or avoid cracks in the ice that reveal open water.

AST Networks are providing the team with crucial equipment for the expedition to receive information on the weather as well as any safety messages for the team. The equipment consist of Iridium satellite handsets and an airtime plan in order for the expedition be able make calls and send/receive texts from their hardware, as well as giving access to advanced data capabilities through optimised apps.

The team will travel by ski, pulling sledges containing all the food, fuel and equipment they need. While in the past, satellite communications would have required heavy, bulky appliances, this is no longer the case. AST Networks' handsets provided for the expedition are light, compact and reliable. AST Networks are delighted to offer this technology to the team to assist them on their journey.

Understanding climate change better

The team will be searching for black carbon and microplastics, both vital markers of humans' impact on the planet. Their aim is to understand the Arctic environment better before it is no longer possible to travel there by foot.

If you would like to see live expedition updates made possible by AST Networks technology, please visit the expedition tracker.

Leading the expedition is Felicity Aston MBE, a polar explorer and scientist. In 2012, Felicity became the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone.

Felicity said, "One of the biggest advantages modern day explorers have over the explorers of the past is satellites for communication and navigation. Today we can stay in communication with the world while at the very ends of the Earth. Satellite communications are our lifeline while skiing across some of the remotest and most inaccessible parts of the planet, so we need to know we have the best and most reliable technology - this is where the support of AST Networks is so vital. They have unrivalled experience in the industry, meaning we can trust their advice completely and have complete peace of mind in the knowledge that they will be there ready to support whatever the unexpected throws at us.

"The support of AST Networks in providing hardware and airtime also means that we will be able to share our experiences with those following our journey virtually. As opportunities to access the North Pole become ever fewer thanks to rapid and fundamental environmental change, sharing what we experience with immediacy becomes increasingly important."

Francisco Rosas, Global Senior Marketing Manager at AST Networks added, "We are proud to be supporting the Before Its Gone expedition. We understand the pressing importance of the scientific work being undertaken by the group and the need to highlight this to the world. By providing reliable satellite hardware and connectivity, we hope to not only provide the expedition with a means of reliable communication to keep them safe but also provide them with the opportunity to allow others to follow their journey and amplify the fantastic work they are doing."

Find out more - Before Its Gone

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