Frontier Science

Research Beyond The Priorities Of Other Research Areas

At P&O Polar, our objective is to research and develop approved favourable business activities when not in use by the Australian Antarctic Division. Our policy is to effectively administer and manage its activities while complying with relevant laws and regulations to make the most of the commercial return generated while promoting a harmonious and safe workplace.

Our Frontier Science aims to encourage and support high-quality research beyond the priorities of the other research areas but within Australia’s national research priorities. Frontier science projects are chosen based on scientific excellence and the need for the work to be possible only in the Southern Ocean or Antarctica.

A few of the science areas with a successful history of engagement in Antarctica will be regarded below. These include:


The core of major international investments in astronomical infrastructure sites within the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT). This will provide an opportunity for Australian astronomers to continue to play a leading role in the understanding and characterisation of these sites to continue to engage with the international community to ensure that the advantages of Antarctica as a platform for scientific observations can be fully realised.


Arctic and tectonic processes have shaped the Antarctic continent and its surrounding seafloor into their present form. Predictions can be made for the future by understanding these processes and their mutual relatedness, which in turn supplies valuable hints to Antarctica’s geomorphological, geological and climate past.

Human biology and medicine

Following the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Expert Group on Human Biology and Medicine, future precedence in this field focuses on research on and healthcare of humans in Antarctica. Areas of interest include research into the effects of light and dark, cold, altitude and isolation. The international polar medicine community has of recent, developed interest in using the Antarctic as a space analogue.

Space weather

Although routine measurements are made at all stations, a complete understanding of space weather impacts at high latitudes is an intricate science task. Space weather research is important to Antarctic land, air and sea operations through the continuity of navigation and communications across the polar region.

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