In 1978, Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura undertook in quick succession two challenging expeditions in the Arctic. After a journey of more than two months, he became the first person to reach the North Pole via a solo overland journey. Soon after this accomplishment, he sought to complete another first, a north-south overland traverse of Greenland, a distance of more than 1600 nautical miles (2900 kilometers), but had to halt the effort just before reaching his goal.
The Smithsonian Institution played a crucial supporting role in these expeditions, providing Uemura with a battery-operated data collection platform, designed to communicate with the Nimbus 6 meteorological satellite. Strapped to his dog sled as he crossed remote, isolated terrain, the device provided position, time, temperature, and barometric pressure data. This artifact is the antenna for the data collection platform.
Mr. Uemura donated this artifact to the Museum in 1978.