Panasonic has announced it is the official technology partner for the pioneering expedition to the Antarctic called ‘The Coldest Journey’. Lead by legendary explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the expedition will mark the first time in history a complete crossing of the Antarctic continent has been attempted during the winter months. Setting off from London on 5th December 2012, the exploration team will land on the Antarctic ice mass in January 2013. They will then cross the continent by land, arriving at the other side before the spring equinox in September 2013.
The six-person expedition team will rely on Panasonic P2 Broadcast Camera Recorders to capture their experiences and share them with colleagues and audiences back home. The AG-HPX250 camera recorder uses P2 solid state robust media, which performs reliably in extreme conditions.
The team will also be using Panasonic still cameras and Toughbook rugged computers to collect and analyse scientific evidence during the crossing. The equipment will have to perform in some of the most testing conditions on Earth, including 24-hour darkness, snow, ice and temperatures that plunge to below -70 degrees Celsius. With no physical human contact for the duration of the Antarctic crossing, the team will rely on the durability and continued performance of Panasonic’s technology.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2H DSLR and DMC-FT4 consumer digital cameras and camcorders will be used to take photos and capture footage in challenging circumstances, such as when the team is traversing ice cliffs. On steadier ground, crew members will use Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 HD professional broadcast camera equipment to capture previously unseen footage of Antarctic conditions in winter, which will be transmitted live via satellite link to the BBC and other global news organisations. As part of its support for the mission, Panasonic has provided guidance to the team on how to capture the best footage. The team will also maintain a daily video blog for schools, enabling pupils to follow the progress of their journey.
Robust Panasonic Toughbook computers will play an essential role in supporting the expedition team’s research on the ground. In addition to facilitating communications links with the support operation, the Toughbook PCs will enable detailed analysis of scientific readings. A key aim of the expedition is to collect data on ice conditions in Antarctica during winter, providing an accurate insight into the year-round effects of global warming for the first time.
Panasonic P2 broadcast cameras have a proven track record of performing in difficult conditions, and have gained a large following among professional natural history filmmakers and news agencies. Panasonic’s equipment has previously been used for in world acclaimed documentaries such as the BBC’s “Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet & Frozen Planet’, prior to which the technology was stowed in deep freeze to prove its ability to operate in hostile conditions. During cold chamber testing earlier this year, the Antarctic expedition team successfully operated Panasonic’s P2 equipment in temperatures below -60 degrees Celsius.
In sponsoring the expedition, Panasonic is continuing its commitment to using technology to support a more sustainable future. As a business, Panasonic aims to become the world’s number one eco innovations company in the consumer electronics sector by 2018.