DML 2019/20

The Wasa research station in Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica is part of The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat’s permanent infrastructure for research. Wasa was built during the 1988/89 Antarctic expedition. The main building is made of wood, and rests on 1.5 m high poles to avoid the accumulation of snow. Twenty-foot containers are used as storage. Today, these contain much worn-out material that is now to be shipped from Antarctica. A total of 60-70 tonnes of equipment, vehicles and waste will be transported away using six containers during the DML 2019/20 expedition.


During the expedition, measurements will be carried out on Wasa’s building construction, to study how the wooden building has been affected since it was built 30 years ago. Wasa is placed in a “test environment” that stresses the external conditions and can show how well Swedish wooden building technology works in extreme climates. 

The construction researcher Dag Haugum, active at Linköping University and Luleå University of Technology, is the research leader. He will investigate the building’s condition by measuring moisture (comparison with previous measurements), density, organic growth, penetration of snowdrifts, freezing, long-term mechanical impact of wind loads and energy use. This data can contribute to a broader and more robust experience base and optimise construction for future climates.

Partners: The Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, Nåiden Bygg AB, NCC AB, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Luleå University of Technology and Linköping University.

Fast facts

18 December 2019 to 30 January 2020

Antarctica, research station Wasa

Expedition leader: Ola Eriksson

Our support

The DML 2019/20 expedition is planned and implemented by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and financed by own funds. The secretariat supports Dag Haugum with logistics to get to and from Antarctica and ensures that more than 35 kilograms of measurement equipment for construction research is shipped to Wasa.


The Polar Research Secretariat collaborates with the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and the South African National Antarctic Program (SANAP) for logistics.