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Under-ice operations with a REMUS-100 AUV in the Arctic

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13 Author(s)
Kukulya, A. ; Woods Hole Oceanogr. Instn., Woods Hole, MA, USA ; Plueddemann, A. ; Austin, T. ; Stokey, R.
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Use of a REMUS-100 AUV to obtain hydrographic observations beneath coastal sea ice offshore of Barrow, Alaska is described. The work is motivated by the desire to obtain cross-shore hydrographic transects that would provide estimates of the transport of relatively dense, salty water from the Chukchi Sea to the Arctic Ocean in winter. The horizontal scales (~10 km), maximum water depths (~100 m) and desired measurements (temperature, salinity and velocity vs. depth) in the study region match the capabilities of a small AUV such as the REMUS-100. It was recognized that achieving the science goals would require increasing the range of acoustic navigation and communication as well as developing a robust approach to through-ice deployment and recovery. These needs drove three modifications to the AUV: (1) Incorporation of a lower frequency (10 kHz) transducer and associated hardware for navigation and communication, (2) Addition of special-purpose sensors and hardware in a hull extension module, (3) Development of a homing algorithm utilizing an Ultra-Short Base Line (USBL) array in the AUV nose cap. In March 2010, eight days of field work offshore of Barrow provided successful demonstration of the system. A total of 14 km of track lines beneath a coastal ice floe were obtained from four missions, each successfully terminated by net-capture recovery.

Published in:

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), 2010 IEEE/OES

Date of Conference:

1-3 Sept. 2010