Sunday, May 28, 2017
 
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EARC at Chang La enters Guinness Book of World Records as highest terrestrial laboratory replacing Pyramid Lab



Leh(Ladakh), May 7, (Scoop News)-Extreme Altitude Research Centre (EARC) set up near Chang La by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has entered the Guinness Book of Records for being the World’s highest terrestrial research laboratory, well informed sources said.

Few days back, the EARC was accorded with a certificate in UK, they said, adding that plans to allow both domestic and foreign scientists to use the facility are also under active consideration.

The process for the same had begun couple of months back when a team of engineers, scientists and locals measured the altitude of the location for claiming its entry into the world record list.

Established at an altitude of 17,664 feet above the sea level (ASL) is about 1,000 feet higher than the previous record holder, Pyramid Laboratory (16,571.52 feet ASL), built at the base of Mt. Everest. The winter temperature at Chang La can dip up to 40* C below freezing point.

Built nearly half way on 165 km long Leh- Pongong Tso lake road, the construction of the laboratory took three years to complete as scientists and workers had to deal with the conditions of cold arctic desert and snow bound terrain besides limited working season. The lab can accommodate up to ten scientists along with support staff of additional ten persons, is equipped with solar power with back up of diesel generators.

The sources said the ongoing experiments in the laboratory include portable greenhouses, bio digesters, conservation and propagation endangered extreme altitude medicinal plants, soilless micro farming, mountain sickness, non conventional sources of energy, electronic equipment and batteries, clothing and human physiology.

Based at Leh, Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) is claimed to be the only facility of its kind in the world to test extreme altitude related technologies for military applications. The facility will help in assessing the performance of new technologies but also it make easier for their user trials besides familiarizing it with the army and the local farmers.

The equipment at the lab will undergo precision testing in actual climatic conditions which includes the gadgetry meant for the strategic Siachen sector....
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