02.02.2018

It took the 6 strong, all-female team from the British Army, 62 days to complete the challenge. The group was expected to take between 75 and 90 days, with the women tackling winds of up to 60mph and temperatures reaching as low as -40°C. Their epic 1,000 mile expedition began on 20 November. 

Airbus supported the expedition by providing the communications solution to the team, allowing them to benefit from voice and data throughout their 62 day challenge. Communications in such conditions are particularly challenging due to climate and remoteness but Airbus supported the team with 24/7 connectivity to ensure the Maidens remained in contact.

“Providing communications for the first, all female, team to traverse Antarctica (using muscle power alone) has been a privilege, especially as they are all serving British military women. Satellite communication was the only option for them and the coverage severely limited” said Richard Crook, the lead engineer supporting this expedition. “This allowed us to provide ‘the Maidens’ with appropriate and reliable service and equipment tailored to their needs. The primary consideration was for the conditions of operation under which the ‘Maidens’ would be operating the equipment (-20°C to -50°C), conditions which are not suitable for the majority of equipment. Ensuring that the ‘Maidens understood the methodology and limitations of use was the absolute key to the safety and success of their expedition. We are in awe of their achievement”

Airbus, through the Secure Communications business line, provide global secure communications build, operations and services. With satellite communications as its backbone, and defence customers at its core, solutions are increasingly focused on the integration of all critical communications for clients that demand the highest availability and security. As more and more assets become connected - whether in the air, on land or at sea - the management of all bearers, guaranteeing connectivity for the most demanding customers is the new mission.

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