30 Aug Greenland-Expedition
A research team from the University of Graz and VIRTUAL VEHICLE (Birgit Schlager, Stefan Muckenhuber, Christoph Gaisberger, Thomas Gölles) travelled to Greenland and Iceland from 10.07.2023 to 28.07.2023. In Sermilik Fjord, Ammassalik in East Greenland, the new Austrian polar research station is currently being built in cooperation with the University of Copenhagen.
A long journey was necessary to reach the research station:
1. flight from Graz via Frankfurt to Keflavik
2. overnight stay in Keflavik
3. flight from Keflavik to Kulusuk
4. boat trip from Kulusuk to Tasiilaq
5. overnight stay in Tasiilaq
6. boat trip from Tasiilaq to Sermilik research station
Tasiilaq is the closest town to the research station, so it was necessary to do the shopping there for the 9-day stay at the research station. During the boat trips, we went through the icebergs in a slalom course. Another highlight were whales that appeared right next to the boat.
Arriving at the research station the team carried out Albedo Measurements with a hyperspectral camera on the Mittivakkat glacier. The data from the hyperspectral camera will be used to develop and optimise an albedo model of the glacier ice.
Furthermore, the sensor platform MOLISENS, developed together with Virtual Vehicle Research GmbH, was used for iceberg monitoring on the ship and along the coast. The data was collected to create algorithms for autonomous navigation in waters with icebergs.
After the stay at the research station, the team went on a trip to the Knud Rasmussen Glacier in East Greenland to observe its gigantic glacier front from close up. During the trip, they also visited the abandoned US Army Air Force Base “Bluie East Two”.
On the return journey from Greenland to Graz via Iceland, the team had the opportunity to observe the volcano “Fagradalsfjall”, which erupted and spewed on 10 July 2023.
It was an exciting and successful trip combining science, innovation and breathtaking landscapes!