ALTEX Arctic Cruise
October 7 - November 7, 2001
Tromso, Norway to the Arctic Circle
October 25, 2001: Day #19
Parked in ice lead
Mike Pinto writes: A very productive day! The AUV operated in a variety of ice conditions for over four hours as four major missions were accomplished. The missions were focused on gathering data from the ice profiling sonar, along with CTD data. The missions were programmed with a triangular course of approximately 1500 meters in each leg, running at a depth of 30-meters, optimum for the ice profiling sonar. Navigation and tracking worked well as the AUV surfaced close to where expected after each mission. The RHIB recovery boat was not even deployed until the end of operations for the day.
Later that evening, Jim Bellingham recapped mission accomplishments to date. Excellent ice sonar data has been accumulated under a variety of surface ice conditions, AUV science data, along with traditional CTD data for comparison, has been collected along the Atlantic layer, and valuable experience operating the AUV from a large ship. Jim thanked everyone for a job well done.
The next set of hurdles will be focused on ice buoys. Several objectives are still to be accomplished; including launching an ice buoy from the AUV under ice, making sure it can burn through the ice and deploy an antenna, and determining how long it will communicate with the ARGOS satellite in the harsh conditions on the ice. Armen and Doug corrected several potential problems in the ice buoy launcher communications system so plans were made to suspend AUV operations a day and focus on buoy-testing Friday.