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In contrast to what many people think, Solar Energy is not just a source of cheap power for buildings with facades “decorated” with beautiful and huge solar panels. Since many years ago, it has also been helping extreme outdoors athletes and scientists in their tough task of reaching uncharted spots and develop new technologies.
If we are going to talk about extreme outdoors and scientists, we need to mention Klemens Weisleitner. This Austrian scientist has been successful in merging extreme sports and research in order to make his important discoveries. He works alongside NASA and Austria Space Forum in remote locations, where Solar Energy has been their main source of power.
The focus of Klemens work is to study microbes on glacier surfaces in polar regions. About 10% of Earth is ice covered, mainly the Arctic and the Antarctic, which have been considered sterile environments for a long time. But this image changed drastically within the last decades…Now we know that microbes inhabit all places on Earth, even under extreme conditions.
Klemens Weisleitner and his team have developed a portable laser device that allows them to detect and study organisms in these icy environments. There exist two prototypes, which have been already tested in both Polar and Alpine regions. Klemens is currently improving this laser to study microbial communities, which have not been microbially characterized yet.
Some awesome pictures that Klemens has made during his investigations
Besides studying icy environments, Klemens also enjoys extreme outdoors sports. He has flown with his paraglider in the Arctic and the Antarctic. He also likes other activities such as hiking, ski touring, snowboarding and snow shoeing. These activities contribute to the physical and psychological fitness required when working in harsh environments.
Whether he is enjoying extreme sports or making exciting researches, Klemens Weisleitner always uses solar energy to power all his devices. His Tespack backpack and power bank can work even with cloudy weather and are his inseparable and faithful allies in his adventures through remote and inhospitable places.