The Polar Technology Conference (PTC) was a small, but impactful meeting held annually from 2005–2016, which created space for polar scientists, technology developers, and technology users to share technology needs and discoveries. The absence of this opportunity for polar people to connect has resulted in reduced connectivity and collaboration within the broader polar science community. The National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs has responded to this need with support to resume the PTC as a biennial meeting.
Planning for the next PTC is underway in partnership with ARCUS and a ten-member, multidisciplinary Organizing Committee. The 2020 meeting will be held in Boulder, Colorado during 10–12 March at the University of Colorado’s Sustainability, Energy and Environment Community (SEEC) building. This interdisciplinary conference is intended to provide an opportunity for technical and theoretical exchange on challenges impeding polar research and field operations. Community input is crucial to ensure that technological infrastructure investments are efficient, satisfy science drivers, and meet field requirements. The conference will address approaches to working and studying in the polar regions, including: terrestrial, marine, atmospheric, and social science disciplines; autonomous instrumentation; observation platforms; and all levels of logistical support.
The goal of the meeting is to link experts in polar science and technology development to discuss current technological resources for polar research and identify barriers to research and application of technology for problems unique to polar regions.
The conference aims to:
(1) identify and define priorities using bottom-up community feedback to enhance polar science through technological advances;
(2) scope out areas where research and development (R&D) projects could deliver new technology to meet scientific or logistical user needs and identify where new technology would benefit from field trial;
(3) increase awareness of current funding calls appropriate for technical or R&D projects and provide input to funding agencies on effective support of technology-related projects for polar research; and
(4) build on past PTCs to create a community of practice for future dialogue between the users, manufacturers, and developers of technology used in polar research. Science topics are anticipated to include science drivers, power systems, instrumentation, communications, data access and sharing, and overarching integrative technology.