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The Arctic Ocean - A Complex System:

Important Considerations for the Development of Instrumentation.


The Arctic Ocean, a vital component of the Earth System, is little understood. Urgently needed progress in scientific exploration of this “Mare Incognitum” requires a concerted effort in which scientific instrumentation and the underlying technologies play an essential role. Major advances in scientific understanding are often a consequence of new plateaus reached in relevant technologies that enable innovative instrumentation and data acquisition. A plethora of new, emerging programs aimed at Arctic Ocean exploration offer a unique opportunity to capitalize on necessary technology development. Important considerations are the upfront coordination of the investment in the new technologies to assure consistent quality, inter-operability, inter-calibration, reliability and appropriate maintenance in remote, taxing operating environments, and last not least user friendly data acquisition and dissemination. The most important consideration however is that instrumentation must not be developed in isolation and that development must be directed towards the overall strategic goals of scientific exploration of the Arctic Ocean. New directions in research that are emerging must be fully recognized in the technology community. For the Arctic Ocean the evolving understanding is that it is represents a holistic nature system, where innovative interdisciplinary research, i.e. between biologists and climate scientists will advance the understanding how large scale patterns of climate variability have significant impact on associated ecosystems from inter-annual to long term timescales. It is imperative that these trends are recognized in instrumentation development in order for it to become an integral part of the interdisciplinary research endeavors.

(Remus) or medium (Dorado/Bluefin/ABE) sized vehicles to transport them to and from areas where detailed, near bottom survey and/or sampling programs are necessary.