Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, April 08, 2004
China to build its first Arctic station in Norway
China will build its first station for scientific exploration at new Olson, Spitsbergen island of Svalbard archipelago, Norway, said Prof. E Dongchen, a scholar with Chinese Mapping Research Center for Antarctica of Wuhan University
China will build its first station for scientific exploration at new Olson, Spitsbergen island of Svalbard archipelago, Norway, said Prof. E Dongchen, a scholar with Chinese Mapping Research Center for Antarctica of Wuhan University, who had been to Antarctica for five times and Arctic for two times. Next month he will set out with China's science exploration group for a expedition to the Arctic, where he will start building China's first station in Arctic along with other scientists.
The two-storeyed station to be built has a total area of 500 square meters. It incorporates laboratory, office, reading and recreation room, dormitory and storeroom. The building can houses 20 to 25 researchers at the same time. An observation platform for upper atmosphere will be built on roof also. Compared with building a station at Antarctica, constructing a station in Arctic is much easier. Norway will provide the infrastructure facilities and public services, said he.
The station name has been chosen but remains confidential
The State Oceanography Bureau had solicited for the station name across China, and the name has been chosen already. The name will be announced to public once approved by government. The station at Arctic will become a comprehensive base for research and exploration, which boasts complete function and open style. It will help improve China's influence on issues relating to Arctic and maintain national interests.
Satellite observation station of paramount importance
E Dongchen and Ai Songtao, a researcher with Chinese Antarctic Mapping Research Center, will be responsible for establishing of satellite observation station at Arctic, and putting up a framework for geographic information. The establishment of satellite observation station, especially the location of the Arctic Station, is helpful for china to shake off dependence to other country's satellite navigation and orientation system. It is crucial for setting up China's independent satellite tracking and orbit fixing systems.
Once completed, the Arctic satellite observation station, along with the satellite observation stations of the Great Wall Station and the Zhongshan Station at Antarctica, forms important part of China's independent satellite observation and navigation system, which will help improve accuracy of orientation for China-launched low orbit satellite.
Why build the station in Norway?
The Arctic Ocean is the only area in North Pole where China can conduct science exploration freely. The lands around the ocean belong to eight countries. There is nowhere for other countries to build station except for the Svalbard archipelago.
According to Norwegian governments regulations, only countries that signed the Svalbard Treaty in the 19th century are qualified to build station on the island. China signed the treaty at that time. About ten countries including Norway, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Korea have built their own stations at new Olson.