The Monte Rosa is not only mountain climbing, history and passion but also science. There are two science laboratories operating up there: the Capanna Margherita at the Signalkuppe at an altitude of 4,554 meters and the Istituto Angelo Mosso at Col d'Olen at 2901 meters. Capanna Margherita has been inaugurated in 1893 on behalf of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) and since the very beginning it has been a scientific laboratory of international repute. In 1903 it has been declared "International Institute" by the Academy of Sciences in Washington and through the XX° century it hosted the most innovative researches in different scientific areas: physiology and medicine (63%), glaciology (20%), environmental sciences ( 15%), physics (2%). Capanna Margherita is still one of the few laboratories in the world for studies at high altitude for respiratory- vascular-, metabolic- and renal system regarding the conditions of acclimatization, altitude disease, training and physical human limits in the thin air.
In the last years more importance has been given to researching areas with interesting prospects related to environmental sciences and climate studies. Here a list of some examples of research recently conducted.
- Colle del Lys (4250 m) and Col Gnifetti (4454 m) appear to be suitable sites for ice-cores mining, whose analysis can be used as historical data on climate change and on chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere.
Some of these studies focus on mechanisms of distribution and of distance transport of pollutants like heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and some radioactive isotopes.
- In 2007 the Polytechnic of Turin conducted some tests regarding systems of power generation with fuel cell (hydrogen powered) serving small aircraft.
- Again the Polytechnic of Turin (which also supplied the hut with an Internet connection) has conducted the testing of a innovative system for long distance transmission (300 km) with broadband access, using simple devices at low cost as transmitters and without repeaters.
The Monterosa Huts and the scientific research
People working for Rifugi Monterosa are proud of taking care about the scientific laboratory in Capanna Margherita. Therefore they are deeply committed in order to facilitate the organisation and to support researchers, as well.
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