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Swiss ultralight trikes used to explore Lake Baikal
by Elena Kovachich
Moscow (Voice of Russia) May 24, 2012

Lake Baikal.

Russian scientists are planning to explore Lake Baikal using ultralight trikes or motorized deltaplanes that will be delivered from Switzerland in the summer of 2013. Last year, the Lake of Geneva was studied using Russia's Mir-1 and Mir-2 submersibles. Russia on its part is planning to use Swiss ultralight trikes to study Lake Baikal.

Swiss experts have already studied the Lake of Geneva using their Ultralight trikes. This year, the upgraded equipment specially designed for work under the conditions of Baikal will be installed on these motorized deltaplanes.

Experts pin great hopes on Swiss equipment, says senior research fellow at the Baikal Institute of Nature Management, Bair Tsydykov in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

"The ultralight trikes are used to solve scientific and practical problems as well as for the remote sensing and monitoring of the Earth. They give on-line information about the condition of the environment, make it possible to take high definition photos and use analytical equipment for carrying out ecological monitoring," Bair Tsydykov said.

Despite the fact that expeditions have been launched using Mir submersibles for several seasons to study the world's largest freshwater lake, there are many problems and tasks before the scientists, says the expert.

"The Mir submersibles studied the bottom of the lake, but the ultralight trikes will study the state of the atmosphere and its influence on the water surface. Scientists are also planning to study the forests around the lake, changes in the landscape and the coastline because the lake is regulated by the outlets of the Irkutsk hydropower station and the cascade of the Angara hydropower stations.

When the engineers at the Irkutsk power station regulate the level of Baikal at 456-457 meters, owing to the complicated topography of the surrounding hills, a large part of the dry land of Buryatia is flooded causing significant damage," Bair Tsydykov added.

Several Siberian scientific research institutes are participating in the project. Meanwhile, geographers, limnologists and ecologists are working out a research programme so as to effectively use the Swiss ultralight trikes and the equipment installed on them.

Source: Voice of Russia


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