The University of Applied Sciences Mittweida, where Dr. Volker Strecke, DL8JDX, studied and did his doctorate, has a special relationship with Antarctica. Starting in the 80s, many interesting contacts were made with research stations on the southern ice continent by the club station DK0MIT (former callsign Y32ZN) with the help of the powerful 2-element quad antenna on the roof of building 2 of the university.
In the years 1988 to 1994 Volker DL8JDX participated in three wintering expeditions to Antarctica:
Y88POL March 23, 1988 – Feb. 15, 1989 Georg Forster Station
Y88POL Nov. 12, 1990 – March 5, 1992 Georg Forster Station
DP0GVN 20 Dec. 1992 – 23 Feb. 1994 Neumayer II Station
During these activities the Mittweida club station DK0MIT established regular contacts with Volker in Antarctica so he could transmit QSL data and exchange greetings. Siegfried Gedel DL1JCW acted as QSL manager for Y88POL and DP0GVN three times and did a great job. A large number of radio amateurs from all over the world enjoyed QSOs with the Georg Forster and Neumayer II stations and were happy to receive QSLs from them.
These and many other research stations of in the meantime 29 nations carry out scientific activities in Antarctica within the framework of the International Antarctic Treaty. After many research activities took place on the Antarctic continent during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 1957-1958, which incidentally was also a year of one of the maximums in the 11-year solar activity cycle, this treaty was signed in Washington, USA on December 1, 1959 by 12 nations:
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Russia, United Kingdom and USA. After ratification by all signatory states, this treaty entered into force on June 23, 1961.
The International Antarctic Treaty, which is a model of successful diplomatic cooperation, especially back in the Cold War, stipulates that Antarctica may only be used for peaceful purposes and only for scientific activities. All activities in Antarctica are subject to the premise of freedom of scientific research and international cooperation in Antarctica as practised during IGY 1957-1958 and also subsequent IGYs.
Communications, especially the maintenance of radio links via shortwave and satellites, are of particular importance in all activities. Research results, measured values, protocols and many other data and information are transmitted daily to the respective countries and also to other research stations via these (super)vital connections. The flexibility of amateur radio contacts has already made possible the rescue of expedition members in several emergency situations. Internationally, amateur radio helps to increase the attractiveness and intensify communications around the important research activities on the southern ice continent.
Volker Strecke, DL8JDX
1988-1989 Y88POL Georg Forster Station
1990-1992 Y88POL Georg Forster Station
1992-1994 DP0GVN Neumayer II Station