We’re super thrilled to have our Icebot video hosted on the National Science Foundation’s Science 360 website this week, not long after its premiere on WHOI.edu. The video gives viewers a unique view into the challenges of doing science in remote regions of the world– in this instance, on an ice floe off of Barrow, Alaska last March!
For all their trials and tribulations, the WHOI science and engineering team, along with their friends at the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, pulled off a stunning feat. They were able to test an underwater, autonomously-operated vehicle (AUV), under the shifting Arctic ice in one of the first trials of a robot of this kind. After some additional tweaks and some more tests, the vehicle will be put to good use in sniffing out changes in currents, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen far below the extent of winter sea ice. This will give scientists further information about changes to the sensitive Arctic climate that– until now– have been just beyond their reach.
Though we were not in Barrow on this shoot (thanks to the folks at BASC for capturing some tense moments on camera!) we hope to document this technology as it evolves. Let’s just hope the tent doesn’t fall through the ice next time!