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New Module for the Spanish Army in Antarctica

Jul 13, 2023

In early June it was announced that Gaptek has been awarded the contract to manufacture a module that will house a laboratory to carry out scientific research in Antarctica.

The Spanish Antarctic Campaign is a cooperation model between different public and private institutions at the service of R+D+i within the framework of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation. This cooperation is reflected in the project of the new laboratory module. Funding has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the requirements have been prepared under the coordination of the Spanish Polar Committee (CPE) with the support of the State Research Agency and the Marine Technology Unit (CSIC). The Spanish Army, through its Infrastructure Directorate, has drawn up the construction project that will later be executed by the Engineers Command.

This module will be the third one manufactured by Gaptek for the Gabriel de Castilla Base, a base managed by the Army to support the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Spanish Polar Committee (CPE.) for the development of Antarctic research.

This new one-story module has surface of 305 m2 that will include several laboratories, a warehouse, a meeting room, a sanitary module, etc.

Gaptek will manufacture this building with its modular technology where the pieces fit together mechanically and with pins without the need for welding.

The building will be erected by the Army, which already has extensive experience with the Gaptek system, after the last two previously constructed modules (a warehouse and a workshop) during two Antarctic summers.

​In this demanding Army project, the critical factors are the weather conditions, the remoteness of its location, the surface on which it will be assembled (permafrost) and the short time available for erecting the building.

​The Gaptek system adapts very well to the above factors since:

  • The materials used in the envelope have a high degree of thermal insulation:

– providing comfort to scientists

– prevents heat transfer to the permafrost: less environmental impact

  • The logistical footprint is minimal since its transport ratio per square meter is lower than container-based systems.
  • The simplicity and speed of assembly makes it suitable for Antarctic summer deployment.
  • Its robustness withstands wind, snow, and seismic loads in accordance with its location.
  • The maintenance of the structure is null since structural aluminum is used.
In short, another challenge for Gaptek and its client, in this case our Army.

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