October 7 - November 7, 2001
Tromso, Norway to the Arctic Circle
MOSS LANDING, California— MBARI researchers went to the Arctic Circle to conduct a month-long program at sea testing the Atlantic Layer Tracking Experiment (ALTEX) autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).
The ALTEX AUV was designed to help scientists determine what happens to Atlantic water as it enters the Arctic Ocean. The ALTEX AUV was uniquely equipped with science sensors and an ice-buoy communication system that allowed it to gather data beneath the ice sheet and beam it back to researchers via satellite.
The MBARI team tested the sensors, ice-buoy operation, high-latitude navigation, and operational techniques during the mission which took place aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker Healy in waters north of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
MBARI's ALTEX AUV program was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. The substantial MBARI participation was supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Additional collaborators included SSI (Scientific Solutions Incorporated), Fuel Cell Technologies Limited, Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, Office of Naval Research, and the United States Coast Guard.