Photograph of polar regions with icecaps in the water

AST proudly sponsoring Shackleton Anniversary Expedition


Antarctica is one of the world's most important ‘natural laboratories’ which makes it crucial for predicting our future in the age of climate change.

Applied Satellite Technology (AST) is proud to be an official sponsor to the Shackleton Anniversary Expedition, Antarctic Quest 2021. And are providing the team with an Explorer 510 terminal and Iridium GO enabling on-the-go access to satellite communications in the remotest locations on their route.

The Antarctic Quest 21 Team will be headed by Paul Hart (Lt Cdr RNR), who is a Polar Maritime Survival Instructor and led a team in 2012 to cross the Antarctic Peninsula from west to east to undertake scientific research. The team will set off on 10th December 21 from the UK, sailing from Ushuaia on 12th December and landing on the Peninsula 3 days later. The aim of the expedition is threefold, to commemorate the life of the iconic explorer and leader Sir Ernest Shackleton in the centenary year of his final expedition to the Antarctic, to conduct a scientific research programme and to inform, educate and inspire the general public on the subject of Antarctica.


The team will conduct numerous scientific projects on the peninsula by gathering data for scientific research on climate change, meteorology, geology and glaciology. A key project will be their collection of samples for research into microplastics, small pieces of plastic, less than 5 mm in length, that occur in the environment as a consequence of plastic pollution. The team will study the metal and nutrient content of the snow on the Peninsula, revealing how we are affecting the world's most remote areas. They will install equipment to enable them to observe in real-time the loss of ice from Antarctica leading to sea level rise as a result of climate change.


As expedition leader for Antarctic Quest 21, I am responsible for the safety and operation of the expedition team, and also the interaction we have with our science collaborators and partners. I have to say that this responsibility sits at the forefront of my mind almost constantly and this is why I am so grateful to have AST as our sponsor to deliver our communications strategy. I have used AST equipment over many years of expeditions to the most hostile environments on the planet and I have always found the equipment to be totally reliable. Over those years it has increased in capability and decreased in size and weight; making it the ideal equipment for any expedition such as ours. Knowing that we will have the AST 510 BGAN Explorer, allows me a significant level of confidence in our communications capability and its resilience, and I am confident we will be able to complete our educational outreach and emergency communications plans as a result. I really want to thank AST for their tremendous support to the Shackleton Commemoration Expedition - Antarctic Quest 21, both in terms of the equipment loaned to the expedition and also the data allowance gifted to us, which will enable us to fully meet our expedition aims.

Paul Hart, Expedition Leader - Antarctic Quest 21

AST’s sponsorship will be crucial for the expedition to receive information on the weather as well as any safety messages for the team. It will also enable them to easily communicate media, education messages, research data as well as team welfare information by emails and calls.

The Iridium GO provided to the expedition is a satellite Wi-Fi hotspot that will allow the team to make calls and send/receive texts from their smartphone, as well as giving access to advanced data capabilities through optimised apps.

The Cobham SATCOM EXPLORER 510 offers an ideal combination of performance and portability. The durable magnesium casing and water-resistant design make the BGAN EXPLORER 510 the perfect choice for a reliable connection when working off the beaten track in extreme weather conditions.

We are approached very regularly by adventurers to support their endeavours, and what has caught our attention with Antarctic Quest 21 is their drive to carrying out essential scientific research highlighting climate change impact on our environment as well as their commitment to inspire and educate future generations.

Francisco Rosas, Global Senior Marketing Manager

The educational angle

This expedition will be fully interactive for schools to engage with the team and polar scientists. AST’s connectivity solutions will be used for an educational outreach programme that will enable the Antarctic Quest 21 Team to interact with Schools and the General Public each day to update them on their progress and to explain the basis of the science they are undertaking.

I am proud to have AST as an important sponsor of my educational work over the years. Through their support, AST has provided me with the latest satellite technology allowing me to keep in contact with schools from all over the world.

Dr. Antony Jinman, Polar Adventurer & Educator

The team aims to have a direct video capability for approximately 5 minutes each day with some pre-recorded material being used ahead of the ‘live’ feed. On 5 Jan 22, the team are planning a longer event to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Sir Ernest Shackleton. As a tribute, a short commemoration Service is planned that people can link to via Zoom.

How to support the expedition?

To discover more about this historic expedition visit The school engagement initiative is being run and delivered via the not-for-profit Education Through Expeditions, which is currently running a crowdfunding event via Shackleton Anniversary Expedition 2021 - a Community crowdfunding project in Plymouth by Antony Jinman (


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