Dr. Winston Wong was the primary sponsor, through Imperial College of London, of a major scientific research expedition that made a successful “there and back” land crossing of the Antarctic continent during the winter of 2010.
The 10-man Moon-Regan Transantarctic Expedition, led by veteran polar travelers Andrew Moon and Andrew Regan, left Union Glacier on Nov. 25, 2010, and arrived, via the geographic South Pole, on the Ross Ice Shelf on Dec. 9, 2010. The team then retraced its route, returning to Union Glacier on Dec. 17, 2010. The 4,000 kilometer, or 2,400 mile, trip took 20 days, 12 hours, 30 minutes.
As a scientist who believes environmental protection is one of the most important issues facing society, Dr. Wong chose to sponsor the expedition to advance our knowledge of bio-fuels and how they operate under extreme cold conditions. The expedition’s lead vehicle – known as the Winston Wong Bio-Inspired Ice Vehicle (WWBIV) – ran completely on E85 ethanol fuel. The land-based expedition provided scientists with a rare opportunity to take continuous measurements using sensitive equipment as the Bio-Inspired Ice Vehicle progressed deep into Antarctica.
The successful completion of the expedition confirmed that bio-fuels can perform well under the most extreme temperature conditions, expanding the potential uses for this form of renewable energy.
In addition to the WWBIV, two other vehicles were used to transport the Moon-Regan crew and their gear – and for scientific experimentation.
Some of the additional scientific research beyond testing bio-fuels included evaluating a new health-monitoring device developed by the Imperial College Institute of Biomedical Engineering under extreme temperatures; photographing and collecting meteorites; collecting and testing snow samples that can help chart the spread of trace metals and other pollutants through the global ecosystem; and collecting additional data that will help examine the impacts of global climate change.