In April 2022, Gilles and Nathan, two Belgians, will begin their extraordinary expedition. They set themselves the crazy challenge of carrying out a triathlon in Greenland combining polar expedition, sea kayaking and climbing over a period of 5 months, in total autonomy.
As part of this extraordinary project, the two adventurers were keen to add a scientific dimension. This is how they began a collaboration with the Royal Observatory of Belgium, and more particularly with the researchers Pascale Defraigne, Bruno Bertrand and Nicolas Bergeot.
” The Nanok project is something that gives meaning to what we do. We use our skills in the public domain for research. We use our expertise in original fields to bring something new. says Bruno Bertrand, head of the time office at the Royal Observatory of Belgium.
What is the point of an expedition like the Nanok project?
” We need ground measurements. The explorers are on the ground, they can take samples. So we need adventurers. And in fact, if we want to set up this kind of expedition, it takes a lot of time. While there, we can have results quite quickly. Obviously, they have a big role to play because they are the only ones who have the audacity, the energy, and the ability to put measuring instruments in fairly difficult environments. They will make people talk about them and thereby also bring scientific research to the general public who will perhaps be more attracted by the adventure side, but who will at the same time hear the science side behind it and will be able to awaken more to science. » explain researchers from the Royal Observatory of Belgium.
What are you going to achieve as part of this collaboration?
“This is an opportunity for us to do science a little differently, to have real field measurements offered to us on a silver platter. So on site, we will use our expertise in GPS systems, Galileo, etc. for ground deformations. You should know that the only measurements we have for the topography of the ground in these regions are satellite measurements. So here, we are going to have measurements of the terrain and therefore we will be able to compare that with the models that are made from the satellites, and constrain these models at that time since we have real measurements made on the ground. As soon as we can constrain satellite models with measurements made on the ground, afterwards, for future satellite data, we can use the constraints we have given. And therefore, the variations in the level of the ice, for example in these polar regions, we will be able to improve them thanks to the observations made on the ground. » explain the 3 researchers.
A final word?
” The point that I want to highlight is that, of course, we are very happy to collaborate with people who go into the field even in difficult environments, but unfortunately science today does not even give us the means to carry out this kind of mission. develops Pascale Defraigne.
” What bothers me a bit in research at the moment is what I call the contractualization of science. In other words, everything becomes research projects under contract. We have to write a project, it takes us a few months, and we have to say what we are going to do for the next 4-5 years. So that means we already know what we want to have as a final result. So for me, that’s not research! The Nanok project is really a place where we can express ourselves at the research level. explains Nicolas Bergeot.
The Nanok project also collaborates with ULB and ULg. Many scientific approaches have been launched in order to bring a dimension of public utility to the project, and above all, to bring the experience of the field so necessary to the scientists.
For those who have not yet heard of this atypical project, Nanok Expedition is a sporting achievement coming to life in Greenland. An atypical and one-of-a-kind triathlon successively combining a crossing of
600 km on skis along the Arctic Circle
1000 km in sea kayak
· 1 km of vertical climbing for the opening of a ‘big wall’ route in adventure terrain.
An ambitious, innovative and exciting project. Do you also want to take part in the expedition in one way or another? Individual, Company, Expert adventurer or simply curious, it’s possible! Visit their website for more information: https://www.nanokexpedition.be/
Take part in the Nanok project.
NANOK, 5-month polar triathlon in skiing, kayaking and climbing in Greenland, in the service of science. Sioux productions is preparing a documentary film which will relate the fantastic exploits. And they need you, your help to finance this documentary!
Synopsis of the movie: Faced with the desert expanse of the ice sheet and the icy scorch of the wind that slaps their faces at more than 100 km/h, Gilles and Nathan, in their early thirties, become aware of the insolence of their project. A unique five-month expedition of skiing, sea kayaking and climbing without assistance through Greenland, one of the most hostile corners of the globe. Throughout the trip, they collect valuable environmental data for three Belgian research centers. How did two ordinary Brussels residents come to undertake this extraordinary project? What does it mean to be an explorer in 2022, when there are no more lands to discover but a planet to preserve?
Link to crowdfunding: https://fr.ulule.com/documentaire-nanok/coming-soon/
The Nanok project is supported by the Clyde and Bonnie agency.
Clyde and Bonnie, alias Nicolas Hubin and Charlotte Creplet, have been supporting entrepreneurs for more than 10 years in the development of their project. The Nanok project was one more challenge that Clyde and Bonnie wanted to take on. This support takes the form of both coaching and training, in Digital Marketing, Lean Methodology and Growth Marketing. The more impact, the better, of course…
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