Unattended Scientific Research Platform In Antarctica

Project Cycle: Apr.2018–Nov.2018

Table of Contents


The project is to provide power supply, data acquisition, storage and transmission for scientific research equipment in unattended Antarctic environment.

The platform mainly includes: industrial computer system, PLC main control system, data storage system, iridium communication system, domestic monitoring system, scientific research observation system, power supply system, And each system uses the active standby mode to form a redundant control network to enhance the high availability of the system.

The structure of the system
The structure of the system

The functions of each part are as follows:

  • Industrial computer system: data acquisition, storage and control command receiving and sending functions;
  • PLC main control system: direct control and data acquisition of various equipment on site, including switching of generator set, start and stop of exhaust fan and collection of all sensor data;
  • Data storage system: the backup storage of local data, saving the parameters of the system and the data collected by scientific research observation;
  • Iridium communication system: data transmission between domestic monitoring center and unattended power supply system.
  • Domestic monitoring system: the display of various parameters generated during system operation, historical data query, control command sending and other functions;
  • Scientific research observation system: the Antarctic observation system is composed of various scientific research instruments
  • Power supply system: power supply for all equipment.

The project involves interdisciplinary research, including automation, electrical engineering, communication engineering, computer and other professional, I am mainly responsible for industrial computer control program design.

The following is a detailed introduction to the part I am responsible for.

2.Industrial computer control program design

Industrial computer adopts PC/104 embedded control computer, and based on Linux system, the control program is developed with C/C++ language.

The architecture of the control program
The architecture of the control program
The functions of each part are as follows:

  • Process monitoring subsystem: used to monitor the operation of each process. In case of abnormal process, it will restart the process. In addition, if the monitoring process itself is abnormal, it will trigger the watchdog mechanism to restart the machine.
  • Data management subsystem: used to interact with the file system, so as to store and read data.
  • PLC control subsystem: through the network interface of PLC EWEB, download data and upload instructions from PLC, and monitor the operation status of PLC in real time.
  • Equipment management subsystem: it is used to monitor the real-time status of switches, iridium communication, storage devices and scientific research observation devices, and restart abnormal devices.
  • Communication management subsystem: used for data interaction with domestic monitoring system, such as data upload and Instruction Download.

3.Platform operation

The domestic monitoring center will monitor the operation status of various equipment in Antarctica in real time.

Platform operation monitoring interface
Platform operation monitoring interface


In China’s 35th Antarctic expedition, the project completed the experimental test.

Platform finished product
Platform finished product

Xu Wei
Xu Wei
Software Engineer

The charm of technology is the perfect combination of hardware and software.