Catlin Arctic Survey Teams up with CNN for the Northernmost Broadcast TV Interview at the ‘Top of the World’

Share Article

Explorer's interview is thought to be the most northerly two-way interview to be broadcast on TV

Polar explorer Adrian McCallum snow crusted after a day of trekking earlier in the expedition

Adrian McCallum after a day of trekking earlier in the expedition

We are very pleased to have achieved this remarkable broadcast event.. it means a lot to us for a wide audience to be able to follow the vital scientific our team is doing.

The Catlin Arctic Survey today teamed up with CNN to make what is believed to be the most northerly interview broadcast so far from anywhere in the region of the North Geographic Pole.

Explorer and scientist Adrian McCallum was seen by a global audience on six continents speaking with CNN Anchor Manisha Tank from 88° 20N 137° 45W, where his team's Basler DC-3 plane landed only 100 nautical miles (115 statute miles) from the North Geographic Pole.

McCallum told the worldwide audience the team aims to capture data for scientists trying to understand the impact of changes happening in the Arctic Ocean during a 170-mile trek towards Greenland.

The broadcast from this extreme, northerly location was made using Iridium’s OpenPort system, which enables sound and video to be uplinked to the only communications satellite array available around the North Geographic Pole.

To achieve the unique TV event, the operations support team practised rigging the broadcast equipment within 20 minutes to prevent cables from becoming too brittle and snapping in the -40ºC temperatures.

Ian Wesley, from the Catlin Arctic Survey operations support team, said: “Our rehearsals and attention to the finest detail in this extreme environment has paid off. With only 30 minutes to set up the broadcast before the plane had to take off again, the pressure was really on."

The Catlin Arctic Survey is in its third year operating on the Arctic Ocean sea ice. It is a unique collaboration between explorers and scientists to gather climate-related data during the late winter and early spring seasons.

Its communications technologies enable scientists and explorers to reach a global audience: the team send photos, audio recordings, videos and regular updates about their research during the expedition.

Chip Cunliffe, Head of Operations, said: “We are very pleased to have achieved this remarkable broadcast event using a combination of our polar expertise in partnership with CNN. It means a lot to us at Catlin Arctic Survey for a wide audience to be able to follow the vital scientific work our team is doing.”

The broadcast is part of CNN’s coverage of extreme science in the Arctic. Its special correspondent, Philippe Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau, has been reporting from the Catlin Ice Base – a temporary research station at another location on the frozen ocean where a team of scientists from the USA, Canada and Britain are conducting research as part of the same expedition.

Stephen Catlin, chief executive of Catlin Group Limited, the sponsor of the Catlin Arctic Survey, said: “The scientific work to be carried out by the Catlin Arctic Survey explorers is truly important. I am pleased that CNN has been able to provide information about the expedition to a worldwide audience while, at the same time, making broadcasting history.”

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Rod Macrae
Catlin Arctic Survey
+44 (0) 781 402 9819
Email >

Rod Macrae
Visit website