The access to polar regions postulates an efficient scope of instruments adapted to the specific requirements. This includes ice-breaking research vessels, stations which are run all over the year as logistic points of support with adjacent observatories as well as specially equipped aircraft and vehicles to be used ashore and in the air. Efficient communication links and local networks are needed for data collection and transfer. The permanent availability of such infrastructure is a precondition for an efficient marine and terrestrial polar research of high international reputation.
The AWI runs the research and supply ship "Polarstern", the research vessel "Heincke", four small research cutters, two research aircraft, a permanently manned station each in the Arctic and in Antarctica as well as summer stations which are equipped for specific scientific needs. We dispose of extensive experience in the operation of traverses heading to the Antarctic inland ice plateau. For such projects we dispose of a large fleet of towing vehicles, heavy duty sledges, dwelling and freight containers as well as tank containers at Neumayer Station.
The department "logistics and research platforms" co-ordinates preparation and performance of expeditions, develops and realizes technical projects for polar expeditions and cares medically for health and safety of the expedition participants, of whom more than 800 are intensively prepared and functionally equipped every year.